In 2017, the 49ers defense ranked 22nd against the pass, 22nd against the run, but 24th in points allowed. The offense was 12th in yards, 9th in passing yards, 21st in rushing yards, but only 20th in points.
In 2018, the 49ers defense ranked 11th against the pass and 14th against the run, but 28th in points. The offense was 16th in yards, 15th in passing yards and 13th in rushing yards, but 21st in points.
Ergo sum diarrhea, we can see that the rushing improved last year while the offense as a whole regressed. And the defense improved against the pass and the run, while regressing as a whole in points allowed.
Lifting the lid for a closer look at the statistical excrement, we know that Jimmy Garoppolo‘s 5-0 run at the end of 2017 no doubt skewed the stats favorably for the offense and it reverted to form when he was MIA in 2018. The defense improved against the pass and run, but still gave up more points than the previous year.
Somewhere along the line, we’re going to need to see the offense and defense get out of the bottom 12 teams and get upward towards the top 12. Without resting in the eight middle slots reserved for perennial 8-8 type teams. The nice, but no cigar division.
This points for and against issue has been a persistent problem for HC Kyle Shanahan and DC Robert Saleh. Even when they are better, they’re worse. The points for and against are worse than the yardage for and against. With Jim Harbaugh‘s teams, it was just the opposite: the points were always better than the yardage. And that made all the difference.