Following a tough performance versus the Minnesota Vikings, Niner Noise creates an offensive game plan for the San Francisco 49ers to right the ship in Week 2 at home against the Detroit Lions.
I know you’re thinking — the offense was absolutely terrible, so obviously the game plan must have been bad. Well, that wasn’t the case. Head coach Kyle Shanahan got the offense in positions to succeed in spite of his players, rather than because of them.
With that in mind, this game plan for Week 2 is going to focus on what players need to do as much as what plays the 49ers need to call.
So let’s lay some background for our offensive game plan by giving some base stats about the Niners offense and visiting Detroit Lions defense.
Against the Vikings, the 49ers had 327 yards of offense. They had 20 first downs, actually getting more than the Vikings, but also the four turnovers that have been the story this week. Stats don’t tell the whole story.
Just look at this drive chart:
|2018-09-09||@||MIN||14 ( 5 P, 9 R, 2 Y)||8:04||69||2||10:22||Own 29||2||02:18||3||10||Fumble||Go To Drive »|
|2018-09-09||@||MIN||11 ( 6 P, 4 R, 1 Y)||5:34||82||4||13:43||Own 14||4||08:09||16||24||Field Goal||Go To Drive »|
|2018-09-09||@||MIN||7 ( 3 P, 4 R, 0 Y)||3:51||75||3||04:22||Own 25||3||00:31||12||24||Touchdown||Go To Drive »|
|2018-09-09||@||MIN||7 ( 5 P, 1 R, 1 Y)||1:57||51||2||13:39||Own 25||2||11:42||3||10||Field Goal||Go To Drive »|
|2018-09-09||@||MIN||5 ( 3 P, 2 R, 1 Y)||2:11||18||1||09:28||Own 4||1||07:17||0||0||Punt||Go To Drive »|
|2018-09-09||@||MIN||5 ( 3 P, 1 R, 0 Y)||1:26||60||3||10:41||Own 25||3||09:15||6||17||Field Goal||Go To Drive »|
|2018-09-09||@||MIN||3 ( 2 P, 1 R, 0 Y)||0:45||1||3||15:00||Own 25||3||14:15||3||10||Punt||Go To Drive »|
|2018-09-09||@||MIN||3 ( 1 P, 2 R, 1 Y)||2:45||-5||1||03:56||Own 25||1||01:11||0||3||Punt||Go To Drive »|
|2018-09-09||@||MIN||3 ( 3 P, 0 R, 0 Y)||1:23||-5||4||07:09||Own 45||4||05:46||16||24||Punt||Go To Drive »|
|2018-09-09||@||MIN||3 ( 2 P, 1 R, 0 Y)||0:35||2||3||11:16||Own 18||3||10:41||3||16||Interception||Go To Drive »|
|2018-09-09||@||MIN||2 ( 2 P, 0 R, 0 Y)||0:14||0||4||01:49||Own 11||4||01:35||16||24||Interception||Go To Drive »|
|2018-09-09||@||MIN||1 ( 1 P, 0 R, 0 Y)||0:06||0||4||14:43||Own 31||4||14:37||13||24||Interception||Go To Drive »|
That’s not a pretty result. The 49ers went 1-jof-5 in in the red zone, getting just the one touchdown from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to wide receiver Dante Pettis. They also had largely ineffective drives against the vaunted Minnesota defense.
The Lions defense is… less vaunted, putting it lightly.
Although their 48-17 implosion can largely be blamed on Detroit’s Matthew Stafford forgetting how to play quarterback for a game, the defense didn’t really help matters. Starting the game off with a pick-six due to a terrible read by rookie New York Jets QB Sam Darnold did give a sense of hope:
But from there, it went all downhill for the Lions. They allowed 349 total yards to the Jets, of all teams, and it was a pretty even split. Totaling 180 yards passing and 169 yards rushing is not a yards split you usually see in the modern NFL, but it is something the 49ers can exploit.
Let’s focus on one half of the offense, the part that made the least plays in Week 1.