49ers’ running game takes a step back
Spanning over the last two weeks, the team has faced the Indianapolis Colts and the Seattle Seahawks and the passing plays have outnumbered the running plays. It was the same story Versace the Green Bay Packers.
Against the Packers, it was necessary to shift to a strategy which favored passing over rushing because they were determined to stop any running attempt. The win over the Packers made the team study passing strategies more and adapt to them.
The 49ers managed to beat the Packers only because quarterback Colin Kaepernick was able to rise to the occasion and Vernon Davis and Anquan Boldin had a huge role in backing him up. The Packers made the mistake of having a backup cornerback starting and reserve safety.
Now the 49ers strategy is integrating passing more than the rushing tactics. Colin had a total of 28 passing attempt while Gore had only nine carries. It was a long shot for the quarterback to nail his targets against the strong Seahawks defense. When following a 5 point lead after the third quarter, the 49ers opted to stop running the ball altogether.
The 49ers are a tam who is an old school run favoring team. Their main strategies are based on running plays. The 49ers have proven that a passing strategy does have its success. Against the Colts, it was effective especially with Frank Gore. He summed 660 yards on a solo touchdown when the running play was completely halted.
Previously with Alex Smith as quarterback, the 49ers would rely on fast paced rushing attacks and would only start passing when there was no other option. Smith was always lauded as a very intelligent athlete who had an ability to predict the outcomes of plays and could make good attacks happen. This had stamped the 49ers identity as a running play team and Gore as their main runner.
To compare the two quarterbacks is no easy task. Although Smith is highly intelligent and talented, Kaepernick had his experience and brings a whole new set of gameplay to the team. His passing game has so far proven to have its pros but it is still too early to tell.