The San Francisco 49ers’ season has turned around in a big way since early in the year. After beginning 1-2, the Niners are now winners of five straight games and sitting at 6-2, right behind the division-leading Seattle Seahawks. This NFC West is getting heated and should be a phenomenal battle for the rest of the year.
A tough spot for the Niners this season, despite their hot streak, has been in the passing game. San Francisco ranks dead last in the league in passing yards per game, throwing for just short of 190 yards each contest. Why has it been so tough?
The biggest reason why they have struggled in the passing game is because of the injuries to both Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham. Without these two guys, Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis have combined for 59 percent of the team’s receptions and 67 percent of the team’s receiving yards.
That can’t happen.
Manningham is now activated and should help the offense, and specifically the passing game, to be a lot more balanced. If Manningham is fully recovered and can contribute even as a decent third option, Davis and Boldin will have a lot of the pressure removed from them each week.
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick has received some criticism throughout the year because he hasn’t been the same guy he was a year ago, but the injuries he’s dealt with on his offense are a big reason why. Once Crabtree is back and the offense is healthy for the most part, he’ll look much differently from there on out.
Manningham should be able to come in right away and contribute, as he had 42 catches for 449 yards last year in 12 games. If San Francisco can get that kind of production out of their third option, I’m sure Kaepernick will be pleased and the offense will be able to grow each and every week for the rest of the year.