I had a gut feeling about the 49ers’ pass distribution, so I checked it out. I don’t believe any other analyst has noticed this.
Michael Crabtree leads the team in targets with 31 – almost a third more than Vernon Davis, who’s in second place with 22.
The 49ers’ first pass has gone to Crabtree in three of the first four games. And there’s even more.
The 49ers’ first third-down pass has gone to Crabtree in two of the first four games.
As I watch the games, the choice of plays leads me to believe that Greg Roman and Jim Harbaugh are deliberately attempting to make Crabtree their No.1 go-to-guy. It just sticks out in my mind how it is almost a scripted attempt to get him the ball first.
Instead of trying to get him the ball to establish a point, would it be better to look for the best matchup to score early and establish some offensive dominance?
I think the attempt by Roman and Harbaugh to establish other weapons in the passing game has come at the expense of diminished impact by Vernon Davis. I don’t think they are using him enough in the passing game as a featured guy, and the mistake is that he poses a greater mismatch against any strong safety as opposed to Crabtree against any cornerback the Niners have faced.
Of course, the 49ers would never talk about any of this because they don’t talk about scheme, so I have to be your analyst of schemes. I am not saying the 49ers will fail with their strategy or not go to the Super Bowl. I merely am pointing out that they are not maximizing their use of their best receiver, and they appear to be doing this to make a point about Crabtree, a point that may not be valid. Is this the way to go?