5 biggest concerns 49ers have through two weeks of 2021
By Peter Panacy
No. 2: 49ers ground game is off to a slowish start
Perhaps totally skewed by the fact San Francisco managed just 117 total rush yards in Week 2 against the Eagles, and 20 of those yards came from Jimmy Garoppolo.
But it’s important to point out the 49ers haven’t exactly imposed their will on the ground in any consistent manner.
True, Elijah Mitchell was impressive enough in his NFL debut in Week 1, but then he was mostly stymied for the bulk of Week 2 at Philadelphia. JaMycal Hasty, meanwhile, has had only six rush attempts on the season, and it might be wise for the Niners to get the second-year pro more involved.
Overall, however, San Francisco is averaging just 3.8 yards per carry on the ground, which is a far cry from what Kyle Shanahan will want to impose as the most important feature of his offense. The issue has been magnified in the wake of the team’s No. 1 running back, Raheem Mostert, electing to have season-ending knee surgery after just two attempts back in Week 1.
Losing Mostert hurts. Yet it’s equally compounded by Trey Sermon not having as big an impact as most thought he would out of the gate. Inactive in Week 1 and seeing just one carry in Week 2 before his head injury, the bulk of the load has now shifted to two players, Mitchell and Hasty, who were initially intended to be little more than reserve and rotational players this season.
Hopefully, this doesn’t turn into a big weakness for the 49ers in 2021.