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49ers Awaken Their Offense Through the Air in 38-10 Win Against Cardinals

This was extremely necessary for the 49ers.

Offense has been a major issue for the 49ers all season long.

Unless they were going up against the Rams or a Panthers team with a head coach on the way out, the offense of the 49ers was stale all season.

Today, the offense was NOT the issue. They figured it out and put on their most complete performance of the season. The 49ers awakened their offense through the air in 38-10 win against the Cardinals. Round of applause to Kyle Shanahan who I had very little hope of breaking out of his tendency to just run the ball so heavily. Entering this game, I had advocated for the 49ers to utilize the passing more with Jimmy Garoppolo. He has been playing exceptionally well all season long, so why not let him take more control of the steering wheel with the offense?

Sure enough, Shanahan turned to Garoppolo by going pass heavy tonight against the Cardinals and put up 38 points, the most points scored by the offense all season long. This was extremely necessary for the 49ers. Their offense was too predictable with the run game. Defenses would just clutter the line of scrimmage and make it extremely challenging. Even with Christian McCaffrey and Elijah Mitchell, arguably the best running back duo, the run game couldn't do it all.

Shanahan needed to rely upon Garoppolo more to, not only set up the run with the pass, but to score more points by keeping a defense off balance. Garoppolo is known to be a roller coaster ride as a passer, but he really hasn't been this season. He's been money for most of the season and the pass protection has been great from the offensive line. This is an offense that can use the pass early and often. Where they can't utilize it is when they are chasing the game. That is when they became predictable. 

Tonight, the 49ers never looked predictable because they had a lead or were looking to take a lead. Doing so makes a defense second guess what they are doing because they know the 49ers want to run the ball. But the 49ers had Garoppolo drop back to pass 29 times and didn't run Mitchell or McCaffrey more than nine times each. A tendency breaker was incredibly needed from Shanahan. Now, defenses have to account for that and it has awakened the offense.