Remember how the San Francisco 49ers offense went from being an explosive unit after Week 1 to being a unit which has no idea of who it was, while being quarterbacked by a very inefficient Colin Kaepernick after losses in Weeks 2 and 3? Well, all that talk seems like a very distant memory as the 49ers head into their Week 8 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on a four-game winning streak.
Just as importantly, the team has found a balance with their offense. In particular, the 49ers has shown very good run-pass balance in their Weeks 6 and 7 wins against the Arizona Cardinals and Tennessee Titans.
Against the Cardinals, Kaepernick threw for 252 yards and two passing touchdowns on 29 pass attempts, while the 49ers as a team ran for 149 yards on 38 carries in a 32-20 win. They followed that up with a 31-17 effort over the Titans where Kaepernick threw for 199 yards on 21 pass attempts and the 49ers ran for 153 yards on 41 carries, with Kaepernick and Frank Gore accounting for 138 of those.
Against the Jaguars, the 49ers will face off against a team who they should be able to continue to execute the run-pass balance on paper, given that the Jaguars’ defense has proven to be one of the league’s worst. The Jaguars are the worst rushing defense as they give up an average of 153.3 yards a game. The 49ers should not have any issue establishing their power running game, a big key to their current winning streak.
In addition, the Jaguars are 28th in the league in total yards allowed per game as they allow an average of 391.4 yards, with four of their last five opponents having gained more than 400 yards on them. For the 49ers, this means that once they are able to establish the run, Kaepernick should be in position to pick up significant yardage downfield with his arm, throwing it to the likes of Vernon Davis and Anquan Boldin.
While the temptation may be to go heavy with either the rushing or passing attack given that the 49ers are facing a very bad defense, Jim Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Greg Roman must ensure that the offense continues to exhibit the run-pass balance from the past two games to extend their streak to five games heading into the bye week.