San Francisco 49ers Week One Position Analysis
Quarterback- Shaun Hill did not have a great game statistical wise, 18 of 31 for 209 yards and one touchdown, but statistics are not always necessary from a quarterback for his team to play. What matters the most is that he doesn't turn the ball over and he makes the plays when his team needs them to win a game. That is exactly what Shaun Hill did in the 49ers' win over the Cardinals.
Hill and the offense failed looked out of sink throughout the game. Then when they needed it the most Hill lead the offense 80 yards on 15 plays to score the game clinching score. It was the best he played during the game and it came when his offense needed to put points on the board and also give the defense a well needed rest.
Hill will have to improve his overall consistency as the season progresses. The offensive lines' lackluster play contributed to Hill's poor at times, there were many time where he simply didn't have enough time to make an accurate pass.
Running backs- Frank Gore has probably had his least productive game of his career. The Cardinal's defensive line stuffed Gore the entire game,apart from the game winning drive, he was held to negative runs on his first three carries. Gore ran for 30 yards on 22 carries, that's a meager 1.4 yards per carry average. However he did score the team's two touchdown; one running and the other receiving.
To Gore's defense the offensive line didn't give him any holes to run through and allowed Cardinal's in the backfield to make tackles for losses. Head coach Mike Singletary stated that the line got their butts kicked in the game and he was completely correct.
Gore didn't let his lack of production affective his overall play as he displayed his ability to excel in blitz pick-ups. He even knocked the wind out of one of the Cardinal's defenders. He continues to show that he is one of the NFL's elite all-round running backs.
Offensive Line- The line was the clear weak spot in the 49er's offense against the Cardinals. The line allowed penetration throughout the game and missed many blocks. Darnell Docket straight schooled the interior linemen. They didn't provide running lanes for the running back or a pocket for the quarterback for the basically the entire game.
Their best play game on the two touchdown scoring drives, but they must make dramatic improvements if they want to be the dominant offensive line they strive to be.
Wide Receivers- Did not have big numbers but made plays when they were needed. Isaac Bruce's 50 yard reception was the most impressive play through the air. He finished with four receptions for 74 yards, Josh Morgan had three receptions for 33 yards and Arnaz Battle had 2 receptions 22 yards.
The passing game never got into rhythm during the game due mostly to poor play by the offensive line. Hill could have made better throws at times and wide outs dropped some passes.
The passing game will improve if the offensive gives Hill time to throw the ball to his talented receivers.
Tight Ends- Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker proved that they can be assets in the 49ers passing game, and the team showed that will utilize them instead of keeping them in to block on passing downs this season. both players are blessed with speed and good hands.
Davis had four catches on the touchdown scoring drive and finished the game with five catches for 40 yards. Walker had one catch for 17 yards, he displayed his ability to make defenders miss on the play. Offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye should continue to find ways to get the ball into their hands because they cause big mix matches for opposing defenses.
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