Vernon Davis started the season with four touchdowns in the first three games. It was exactly what the San Francisco 49ers were hoping they would see out of their 6’3” hybrid tight end. Davis, a play-maker in the truest sense of the word, is arguably the most explosive play-maker on the San Francisco offense, and seeing him get off to such a good start was exciting to fantasy owners and Niners fans alike. It looked as though Davis was on fire, and hopes were high as the team set about getting to the 2013 NFC Championship game, and beyond.
Little did anyone know at the time, but Davis would fail to catch another touchdown until Week 11, and those six points would be his last of the 2012 regular season.
How a player with the skills and big play ability Davis has goes missing from the offense like this defies reason. In last season’s playoff run, Davis came up huge, scoring two touchdowns in each of the 49ers two contests, racking up nearly 300 yards in the process. Pre-season aside, that is eight total touchdowns in a five game stretch, and all of a sudden he drops off the face of the earth?
One theory on the Davis disappearance is the attention the gifted tight end receives from opposing defenses. There is truth in the fact that Davis is constantly a victim of a bracket coverage, with a defender playing under his route, and another playing over the top, but with the addition and growth of players like Randy Moss, Michael Crabtree and Delanie Walker, Davis should be finding it easier to find holes in the coverage. Instead, he has wilted into the turf, and is somehow unable to get the touches a player of his caliber deserves.
On Sunday, when his San Francisco 49ers take the field with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line, Vernon Davis needs to take control. He must find a way to take advantage of the plays designed for him during the week. He will need to dominate the coverage of the Atlanta Falcons defense, and force his way into Colin Kaepernick’s wheelhouse.
The best players in the NFL are faced with the same attention every week of the season, and while they may get shut down for a game here and there, none of them become impotent for an entire season. Davis is going to have to bring back his postseason magic, or his team may once again be bounced just one game shy of their goal, and he could find himself bounced from their roster.
Jeff Everette is a Featured Columnist for RantSports.com, covering the NFL and NBA. Follow Jeff on twitter @jeverettesports, like his page on FaceBook, or add his Google + to your circles for all of his latest articles, thoughts, and rants.