When the 49ers drafted Patrick Willis in 2007, he was a shy rookie who kept his mouth shut and did everything asked of him. Three years later, he’s a soft-spoken three-time Pro Bowl player with a blue-collar work ethic. He does his talking with his performance on the field. He has never said anything controversial to generate a headline. That’s why this is difficult to believe.
Third downs are often cited as the critical plays in a football game, but that has not necessarily been the case for the 49ers this season. It’s all about first downs.
There is a chicken-and-egg element to examining the success of so-called “running teams.”
The 49ers were pretty good statistically against the run this season, as they tied for 13th in the league in yards rushing allowed per game. They were eighth in the league in rushing average, surrendering just 3.8 yards per rushing attempt.
Head coach Mike Singletary made it clear last week that he wants the 49ers to be a running team.
The burden of proof was on Mike Singletary when he took the interim position on Oct. 20. Many in the organization felt the 49ers had to hire an offensive-minded head coach at the end of the season, so the club would not run the risk of repeating one of the big problems from the Mike Nolan era.
It’s been only six weeks since I did the whole 49ers-Rams matchup exercise. You can refer back to what I did then and it pretty much remains the same.
There is a different aura surrounding the 49ers since Mike Singletary took over as coach, but it’s very difficult to quantify exactly what has happened.
Today in the paper, I touched on some of the highlights and lowlights of the first half of the 49ers’ season. (And before any of you get started, I wish to remind you that I wrote every word of the article, but I did not write the headline.)
When looking at the schedule prior to the season, it was easy to predict a four-game losing streak at this point. After all, the 49ers stood little chance at Saints, home against the Patriots and Eagles, and then back on the road against the Giants. Right?
Are the 49ers getting from Vernon Davis what they expected when they selected him with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2006 draft?
We’re roughly one-third of the way through the season. (Actually, we’re 31.25 percent of the way through the 49ers’ 16-game schedule, but who’s counting?) So this seems like a perfect time to take a step back.