49ers offense has too many playmakers to be this boring

Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers with George Kittle #85 (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers with George Kittle #85 (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

The Chiefs may have embarrassed the 49ers defense in Week 7, but the Niners own offense didn’t respond whatsoever despite boasting an array of playmakers.

Something isn’t adding up for San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan.

The Niners, 3-4 after their latest debacle against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 7, should have one of the most dynamic and potent offenses in the NFL. And while San Francisco’s no-two-ways-about-it ugly 44-23 defeat at the hands of KC speaks more to the defense crumbling, particularly in the second half, the complementary nature of football also points back at Shanahan’s offense, too.

One that’s been struggling to put up points all season long.

Sunday might have been the perfect case study of this. Knowing the Chiefs owned the NFL’s No. 1 scoring offense entering the game, the 49ers didn’t have to just respond with an elite defense but also an offense that could at least keep pace with quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Co.

For the better part of two quarters, it did. However, as has been the case for almost all of 2022, the Niners offense fell stagnant after halftime.

So, what’s wrong here?

Kyle Shanahan has his 49ers offense in a funk

Shanahan-led teams have historically gotten out to slow starts, and the lone San Francisco exception is 2019 when it started 8-0 amid a Super Bowl run.

With Week 7 in the books, a game in which the 49ers settled for three field goals and went 8-of-14 on third downs, Shanahan’s offense now ranks 20th in scoring with an average of 20.7 points scored per game, and that includes defensive touchdowns.

Taking away defensive scores, it’s even worse:

This, despite the blockbuster addition of All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey just days prior.

Granted, McCaffrey isn’t going to be an instant-turnaround player. But his presence does suggest a pretty grand-scale problem with the Niners right now.

Offensively, they have far too much talent to be this bad.

49ers have offensive talent, it’s just not making the difference

McCaffrey was a luxury addition to a San Francisco squad that should have been just fine, offensively, without him.

The 49ers do boast one of the more formidable offensive lineups, at least on paper, of any team within the NFC right now. Left tackle Trent Williams, an All-Pro, is probably the best at his position by a wide margin, and the rest of the Niners offensive line hasn’t been as big a liability as many thought it would be.

There’s another All-Pro in tight end George Kittle, yes, and San Francisco’s wide receiver room is led by yet another All-Pro, too, Deebo Samuel.

Even the complementary names to this cast are notable, such as wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk and running back Jeff Wilson Jr.

And yet the 49ers offense can barely muster an average of 20 points per game.

Aiyuk’s comments after the game hinted at the greater problem, too:

"I just feel like we’ve got too many people – too many, too many people that can change the game to score 23 points. People can ask about the defense but at the end of the day we’ve got to score more points than the other team, so, that’s how I feel."

In short, Aiyuk said there’s too much talent for the offense to be sputtering as it has been. And while that could possibly be a jab at quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, the bigger reality is the Niners have typically been able to get by just fine with Jimmy G playing at merely a pedestrian level.

Garoppolo, who completed 25 passes for over 300 yards with two touchdowns against an interception, was nevertheless completely outclassed by Mahomes.

Yet Garoppolo can’t always control the drops, false-start penalties and holding calls, all of which are signs pointing in another direction.

One which Shanahan better figure out soon.

Next. 4 hard realities 49ers taught us in ugly loss to Chiefs. dark