The 49ers offense is surprisingly only in the middle of the pack entering 2022, according to the latest rankings by CBS Sports.
It’s probably safe to admit the San Francisco 49ers shouldn’t be projected to have a top-five offense in the NFL in 2022.
But one should probably feel they’re a safe bet to be within the top 10.
Not according to the latest offseason offensive rankings by CBS Sports, though. While CBS Sports’ Jared Dubin didn’t throw complete shade at the Niners and head coach Kyle Shanahan by dropping them into the bottom-third tiers, San Francisco’s offense clearly isn’t doing enough to impress Dubin either.
The worst tier, Tier 6, consists of both the Chicago Bears and Houston Texans, and there isn’t truly any surprise there. And you have to move up a few spots to catch where the 49ers fall.
Tier 3, to be exact, which accounts for team offenses ranked between Nos. 11 through 19.
The Niners rank 14th:
"We can consider this tier the “above-average, but not quite great” group. With one exception, they all have quarterbacks who are somewhere between pretty good and very good. They all have above-average or better offensive lines, play-callers, and pass-catchers. None of them has a hole at running back. But these teams also don’t necessarily have elite units, with the exception of the Colts (Jonathan Taylor), Vikings (Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison), and 49ers (Kyle Shanahan)."
San Francisco is ranked higher than the Miami Dolphins (No. 19) and Minnesota Vikings (No. 18) but lower than the Baltimore Ravens (No. 13) and Las Vegas Raiders (No. 12).
Is CBS Sports wrong about 49ers offense entering 2022?
This is all objective, of course, and Dubin probably is receiving plenty of criticism from other fanbases about their respective teams’ placements.
Nature of the business, perhaps.
But Dubin didn’t exactly break down much more about the 49ers than what was said above, namely Shanahan boasting a well-balanced rushing attack. Left out of the discussion were All-Pro pass-catchers in wide receiver Deebo Samuel and tight end George Kittle, plus having the league’s best left tackle in the game, Trent Williams.
Now, it’s feasible CBS Sports downgraded the Niners’ rankings because of the uncertainty surrounding second-year quarterback Trey Lance, who’ll remain a relative unknown until he gets a number of the highly anticipated starts under his belt over the first few weeks of the regular season.
If that was Dubin’s rationale for placing San Francisco at No. 14, then it’s understandable.
Especially with the 49ers’ 2021 offense finishing 13th overall in scoring with the quarterback Lance is going to replace, Jimmy Garoppolo, under center.