Injuries derailed the 49ers before the season could really get going. Jimmy Garoppolo’s torn ACL in Week 3 against the Chiefs turned out to be the unofficial end of the 2018 campaign for the 49ers. However, it didn’t mean the end of their offensive production. While turnovers have been a backbreaking problem, some other numbers point to big things coming down the line for head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense once the 49ers have a fully healthy offensive unit.
San Francisco has dealt with reserves at quarterback, running back and receiver for most of the season. They’re still No. 15 in yards despite playing with backups at key spots. Points have been more difficult to come by thanks to a whopping 25 turnovers, and they rank No. 22 in scoring offense.
Where things get intriguing is in some of the deeper stats. The 49ers are tied for seventh in yards-per-carry, and they’re seventh in the league in rushing yards-per-game.
The passing game is exceptionally promising considering CJ Beathard and Nick Mullens have started nine of San Francisco’s 12 games. San Francisco is No. 5 in the league with 12.7 yards-per-reception. Only the Chiefs, Rams, Buccaneers and Chargers have been better. Their 1,718 yards-after-catch are the third-most in the NFL, while their 7.0 average after after the catch is the best mark.
Explosive plays after the catch are a testament to some of the athletes the 49ers have on offense, as well as Shanahan’s ability to scheme players open. There are a handful of plays per game where a 49ers player runs wide open in the secondary. This is all happening with a banged up backfield, and a receiving corps full of injured and young, unproven players.
It’s going to be fun to see what this offense looks like with Garoppolo under center, a healthy stable of running backs, and added experience in the receiving corps. There’s not a ton to be excited about for the 49ers this season, but the promise their offense has shown is certainly one of them.