Monday, December 19, 2011
What 49ers miss without Braylon Edwards
By Mike Sando
SAN FRANCISCO Inside linebacker Patrick Willis is inactive. Left tackle Joe Staley is active.
Those were the San Francisco 49ers' pregame moves we could see coming.
Braylon Edwards' inactive status Monday night comes as a mild surprise. Injuries have slowed Edwards this season and his production has been inconsistent.
The chart illustrates what the 49ers might be missing -- or not missing -- with Edwards inactive. It shows quarterback Alex Smith's yards per attempt by down and overall for the five wide receivers with receptions for San Francisco this season. Smith averages only 5.5 yards per attempt when targeting Edwards, lowest among the five.
Josh Morgan is on injured reserve. Smith completed 15 of 19 passes for 220 yards when targeting Morgan this season.
Brett Swain is active as the fourth receiver for the 49ers. Ted Ginn Jr. starts for Edwards. Despite inconsistent production as a receiver, Edwards stood out for his blocking against Arizona last week. The 49ers' receivers have been strong blockers this season.
The 49ers' strength at tight end gives them options if their numbers at receiver are limited.