In an Insider piece, ESPN analyst Herm Edwards looked at the weaknesses of six top teams.
The good news for the San Francisco 49ers is that Edwards thinks they are a top team. The bad news is Edwards thinks that they have a major weakness. His choice is not surprising -- it’s the lack of receiving weapons.
Here is some of what Edwards had to write in the piece:
Yes, Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham eventually will come back, but they aren't going to solve all of the problems. Right now, the blueprint to slow down San Francisco is simple: load up to stop the run and force Colin Kaepernick to beat you downfield with receivers other than Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis. There aren't many other options for Kaepernick right now, and San Francisco's receivers are struggling to get separation. The 49ers are sixth in the NFL with 140.2 rushing yards a game, but when this running game has struggled, the offense has slowed to a halt.
I can’t disagree. The lack of receiving options behind Boldin and Davis is alarming. Yes, the 49ers could try to trade for Cleveland’s Josh Gordon. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the two teams have talked, but a trade is unlikely because the 49ers are going to get Manningham and Crabtree back. But until then, there is no doubt this is a trouble area.