49ers Need to Establish an Offensive Identity Going Forward
Jose Luis Sanchez III
The strength of the San Francisco 49ers has always been their defense.
Although, I would also add that their strength was their ability to be versatile and adapting. That is where the 49ers' identity lies.
However, with the defense losing Nick Bosa for the rest of the season due to a torn ACL, the defense is not going to sniff its dominance from 2019. It was already going to and looked to be dropping off without DeForest Buckner. Now that Bosa, and Dee Ford for a time, are out of the picture, the defense is most likely going to become a middle of the pack unit.
That is why the 49ers need to establish an offensive identity going forward.
This is where their adapting identity kicks in. Defense has been their best side of the ball, but now it is going to be the offense for the rest of the 2020 season. If San Francisco wants to continue to be elite and stay on par with the rest of NFC West, then they will need to shift to becoming an offensive juggernaut.
The 49ers' offense has always been a force to be reckoned with, but it would lack consistency from time to time. They have to make a full on commitment to being dominant and suffocating as their defense was last season, which they certainly can do.
Why the 49ers need their strength of the team to be their offense is because they are the healthiest, and now, most talented on that side of the ball. The weapons that Kyle Shanahan has are more than enough for him to make the 49ers' identity and strength the offense.
And not that they had an issue with it last season, but the 49ers really need to put up points to win games. I would go as far as to stay 24 or fewer points might not be enough to get 11 or 12 wins at this point.
Engaging in shootouts is going to become more of a commonality for the red and gold.
The defense is going to start giving up more points and will not have as much success getting to the quarterback as it had. Controlling time of possession, which is Shanahan's M.O. on offense, becomes more emphasized than before. Control the clock, then put the cherry on top with six points. There is no worse feeling for a defense than staying on the field for so long and giving up six. Eventually, they will end up tapping out and wave the white flag.
Not only that, but since the 49ers' defense has lost a great deal of elite talent, keeping it fresh is more of a focal point to ensure efficiency. There is no replacing Bosa or even Ford, so the best way to aiding the defense is by elevating on offense.
Whenever Jimmy Garoppolo returns from his high-ankle sprain, which could be a while, he is going to need to elevate his game. He is going to need to replicate what he did in the first half against the New York Jets in Week 2. I have little doubt in my mind that he won't be able to do it, especially since he carved the Jets without George Kittle and Deebo Samuel.
Once all of the key offensive players are finally together for the 49ers, then that is when their run can truly begin. But until then, it is all about staying afloat until all of their short-term injured players can return.