The 49ers rushing offense ranks No.1 in yards per game and yards per carry. That’s great, but the offense is scoring half-a-point less per game than last season.
Why is that? One of the reasons is Greg Roman. He doesn’t get the ball enough to his best skill player and biggest scoring threat – Vernon Davis. Davis scored 4 TDs the first three games. He has scored zero since then because Roman has used him more as a blocker and as a decoy.
Roman rarely calls a screen pass. He calls a quarter of the total pass plays for Michael Crabtree no matter the matchup.
Roman’s game plans were bad in both losses. He didn’t establish the run. The 49ers offense works best when it sets up the pass with power running. That’s obvious. But against the Giants, Roman primarily called passes out of shotgun/pistol formations to start the game. And against the Vikings, Roman didn’t attempt to establish the run until the fourth quarter when the 49ers were down 11 points. At that point, you pass.
The offense has scored only 13 points twice. It scored just three points against a mediocre Giants defense. Yes, David Akers missed two field goals. Still, 9 points is terrible.
After the loss to the Vikings, Roman started mixing backup QB Colin Kaepernick into games. Roman said Kaepernick needed in-game development. But after the loss to the Giants a few weeks later, Roman stopped mixing in Kaepernick. Roman didn’t follow through.
Roman has a good, core set of power running plays. He spent the first half of the season developing gimmick plays, which should not be the center of any offense. Now he has eight games to develop a core set of passing plays so the 49ers can succeed in the playoffs.
MIDTERM GRADE: D.