It’s Tuesday, which means the world did not end on Monday. After two games of the 2011 season, the 49ers have the 10th rated offense, which is really the 22nd rated offense if you throw out the two TDs from Special Teams. The passing game ranks 27th and the running game ranks 24th. On defense, the team has an overall 14th ranking, by virtue of a 25th rating against the pass and number two against the rush.
These rankings are pretty similar to last year’s stats, which indicates the team has made the transition from Mike Singletary to Jim Harbaugh without missing a beat. Or showing any improvement. This can be viewed negatively or positively, depending on your POV or taste for Kool-aid.
Not only is the team achieving similar results as last year’s team, they are doing it in almost precisely the same way. Boring, ineffective ground game offense, and stout but porous defense. The personnel on offense is largely unchanged, the personnel on defense has changed significantly, but in both cases the results are the same. Amazing. How do we do it? No matter who the coaches are, no matter who the personnel, the 49ers keep stamping out 7-9 teams like an Off Broadway franchise.
Of course, it’s too early in The Era and too early in The Season to be mailing in our conclusions, but it is not too early to be Moderately Concerned. Especially after looking at the stats provided Monday by Matt Barrows of the Sac Bee (click here). These stats show Harbaugh’s pass-to-run ratios for his coaching career in college. This guy likes the running game even more that Singletary!
I guess we better hope he’s a whole lot better at achieving one than Singletary was.
More important than the amount of running plays is when that amount occurs. As a fan base more steeped in the WCO than any other NFL fan base, Niner fans are acutely aware that the WCO uses the pass to set up the run, and not vice versa. Running plays should occur when protecting a late lead, and not in acquiring that lead. After two games, we have seen a return to the WCO in offensive terminology, but not much evidence of a return to the WCO style.
It’s possible that Harbaugh has decided the best strategy is to get the team firmly on board his terminology by running the same plays they grew accustomed to in Singletary’s two years here, and then branching out into the uncharted waters of SOMETHING ELSE PLEASE!!
This notion requires a patient and trusting fan base. Hmmmm. We’re a little thin on those virtues these days, having used them for three other coaches/staffs in the past eight years and being rewarded with EXPLETIVE DELETED. (For you young fans who are not familiar with this reference, see Watergate tapes, circa 1974, when our POTUS was not a crook, but he sure could throw down some F-bombs. Nowadays, of course, everybody knows how to throw down F-bombs — even your Mom! And EPs have been replaced with Beep or Redacted, accompanied by a laugh track. Upwardly mobile vices!)
At any rate, the 49ers are 1-1 and not 0-2. This is better than last year by any calibration system. How long we are going to get this diet of ugly football is anybody’s guess. If ugly equals beautiful, the season will be long and prosperous. If ugly just equals ugly, so will our moods be reflected in kind. Bring us some purty football, Mr. Harbaugh. ASAPola, if you don’t mind.