On Sunday the 49ers’ offense was unable to reach a first down throughout the first quarter. This was something that had never happened to San Francisco with Kyle Shanahan calling the offensive plays. The sluggish start against Philadelphia coupled with only scoring 17 points has led some to wonder if the 49ers’ offense has enough playmakers.
To answer this question, let’s compare the skill position players from the 2019 49ers offense, which scored the second-most points in the NFL and averaged over 30 points per game during the second half of the season on the way to the Super Bowl to those on the current roster.
2019: Jimmy Garoppolo, George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, Emmanuel Sanders, Kendrick Bourne, Dante Pettis, Kyle Juszczyk, Tevin Coleman, Raheem Mostert, Matt Breida.
2021: Jimmy Garoppolo, George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, Trent Sherfield, Mohamed Sanu, Kyle Juszczyk, Elijah Mitchell, Trey Sermon, JaMycal Hasty
Based on the rosters, it looks safe to say San Francisco’s offense has the firepower to compete in the NFC. A quick look shows that the first three are the same, and there should be little argument that George Kittle and Deebo Samuel are the top two weapons on the 49ers’ offense. Brandon Aiyuk is a more explosive option than Sanders, a mid-season addition, during his time in San Francisco. Trent Sherfield gives this 49ers offense the sure-hands role that Kendrick Bourne filled in 2019 and Mohamed Sanu is definitely an upgrade over Dante Pettis.
While the wide receivers are an upgrade, the 2021 49ers are not quite as explosive at running back with the loss of Raheem Mostert. On the flip side, Mitchell, Sermon, and Hasty provide a deeper backfield when healthy.
Unfortunately, all three running backs are currently dealing with injuries. Mitchell and Sermon may be able to play against Green Bay, but Hasty will be out for some time and the team is scrambling to find a replacement. This week the 49ers added Jacques Patrick from the Bengals practice squad and could possibly need to pull Kerryon Johnson off the practice squad.
The oddsmakers in Las Vegas had the 49ers expected point total for Sunday at 23.5 points, so coming in with 17 isn’t that far off. It should also be noted that San Francisco’s offense did something that had not been done by a 49ers offense in 19 years during Sunday’s victory, scoring two touchdowns on drives that started inside their own 10-yard line. Those two drives took a lot of time off the clock while requiring a level of consistency and precision that doesn’t happen without playmakers.
DT Javon Kinlaw (knee), CB Emmanuel Moseley (knee), RB Trey Sermon (concussion) were limited in Thursday’s practice.
DE Arik Armstead (adductor), DT Kevin Givens (ankle), RB JaMycal Hasty (ankle), RB Elijah Mitchell (shoulder) did not participate in practice. Givens and Hasty have been ruled out for Sunday.