The 49ers offense has moved the ball up and down the field in 2022. Unfortunately for San Francisco games are decided by points, not yards.
In their win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday night, the 49ers offense was able to manage just 22 points. This just happens to match their points per game average for the season.
Afterwards Kyle Shanahan was asked why his team isn’t clicking.
“Not clicking, we got inside the 10-yard line five times and scored touchdowns on two of them, so I believe if we did on those other three, I feel we would’ve been clicking huge,” responded Shanahan. “We would’ve had over 30 points and things are going pretty good, so if you go to that game, I think we need to be better inside the 10, but there’s lots of things.”
“There’s three times in there that we didn’t score, so it’d be a lot easier with film and the tape and to show you exactly, but when you ask like what’s going on with an offense, why we’re not clicking, that was the answer.”
After reviewing the coach’s film, Shanahan is spot on. The 49ers need to be better inside the 10 if they are going to get more points on the board.
Fortunately for all you, we have the film to dissect what went wrong for San Francisco in the redzone on Sunday.
First and Goal, Chargers 9
Shanahan opens the first trip inside the ten by calling a heavy play action pass.
George Kittle and Kyle Juszczyk go across the formation to make it look like a power run, and Kittle stays in to block.
After the play fake, Garoppolo looks to Brandon Aiyuk in the right flat, but he is well covered.
The quarterback then comes back to the middle of the field to find Deebo Samuel who is running an over route. The safety does a good job of taking Samuel away.
With nobody open Garoppolo throws the ball into the first row of seats behind the endzone.
This is a good play from Garoppolo. He came into Sunday’s game having thrown away only one pass this season. He did this three times against the Chargers. That’s a good sign.
Second and Goal, Chargers 9
Kyle Shanahan uses motion from Deebo Samuel and Christian McCaffrey to gain an advantage.
The play starts with Samuel motioning into the backfield, lining up to the left of Garoppolo. Once Samuel is set, Garoppolo motions McCaffrey from his right side to wide left. This motion pulls a pair of Chargers defenders away from where the ball will go.
Garoppolo hands off to Samuel on an inside power run for a gain of seven.
This play should have gone for a touchdown.
If Samuel had stayed on the inside hip of Trent Williams instead of jumping inside, he would have been in position to hit the hole at the second level.
This is a well-designed play. Shanahan should consider using Elijah Mitchell as the runner instead. His vision as a runner is better than Samuel.
Third and Goal, Chargers 2
This one is simple. The 49ers offensive line gets beat at the point of attack on an inside run and gets no push to help Christian McCaffrey find a crease inside.
First and Goal, Chargers 7
Garoppolo gives the handoff on an inside zone to Elijah Mitchell. Jake Brendel misses his block, and the running back is dropped for no gain.
Second and Goal, Chargers 7
Shanahan dials up a run-pass option and Garoppolo makes the wrong read.
If the quarterback gives to Deebo Samuel on the run to the left this is a touchdown.
Instead, he pulls it and throws the bubble to Mitchell in the right flat. The running back has no chance and is dropped for a loss of one. This one is on Garoppolo.
Third and Goal, Chargers 8
Shanahan dials up one of his favorite redzone schemes. Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel both run in breaking routes along the goal line while Jauan Jennings runs a corner in the back of the endzone.
Garoppolo’s throw to Aiyuk hits the receiver on his back shoulder and it’s dropped.
Aiyuk has been the most consistent receiver this year, but he struggled with a fumble in the second quarter, and this third quarter drop.
First and Goal, Chargers 8
Kyle Shanahan dials up an inside zone. It’s blocked up well and Elijah Mitchell is one-on-one with Chargers cornerback Michael Davis. Mitchell tries to spin inside, but Davis brings him down after a gain of six.
Second and Goal, Chargers 2
Shanahan goes back to the same inside run play. Spencer Burford is unable to get to the linebacker and Mitchell is dropped for no gain.
Third and Goal, Chargers
Kyle Shanahan on his third down play call, “And at the very end of the game, I wanted to make sure they used that timeout. Probably would’ve a better chance of scoring if we threw it from the two there on third-and-goal from the two. I didn’t think that was worth the risk. I wanted to make sure regardless of what happened that they had no timeout, so that was the decision there, but I would say those three things.”
Shanahan dialed up a counter run to the left side, and there were a couple of reasons the play didn’t work.
The first is Mike McGlinchey. The right tackle misses his block on the Chargers defensive lineman which allows penetration off the right side.
Second, Elijah Mitchell slips as he begins working to the left.
McGlinchey’s whiff and Mitchell’s slip combine to result in a loss of one, and the 49ers third field goal of the game.
As Kyle Shanahan pointed out, it’s clearly not a single issue that led the 49ers being unable to get touchdowns in the redzone. Their issue, as it has been most of this season was an inability to execute consistently.