A weekly look at what the San Francisco 49ers must fix.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The offense, under the direction of play-calling offensive coordinator Greg Roman and the command of quarterback Colin Kaepernick, has grinded to a halt.
In their bottoming-out 24-13 loss to the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, the Niners abandoned the run too soon in a game that did not become a runaway until the fourth quarter. If they are to have a prayer in Seattle this coming weekend, the 49ers must find offensive balance early and stick to it.
But coach Jim Harbaugh seemed to be whistling past the graveyard on Monday.
“When I looked at the film, I didn’t feel like we went away from the running game,” he said. “Even into the third and fourth quarter.”
At halftime, the 49ers had attempted 16 passes and ran the ball 11 times, and Frank Gore had 30 yards on five carries.
But by the time the game ended, the Niners had thrown the ball 33 times and ran it 18. Oh, and Gore averaged 5.3 yards per carry.
I asked Gore, who carried the ball once in the fourth quarter after the Raiders went up by 11 points, why the Niners stopped running after having early success.
He shook his head sadly.
“You have to ask the coaches,” he said.