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Wednesday, November 4, 2009
What Raye and the 49ers were thinking

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

What in the world was 49ers offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye thinking Sunday and what does it mean for the team's immediate future on offense?

I have a much better idea after watching the 49ers-Colts game a couple times and charting offensive personnel. Ten observations:
49ers Personnel Group against Colts in Week 8
Carries Yards Per Carry Pass Attempts Yards Per Attempt TD
1RB-2TE (2WR) 6 13.5 12 6.0 1
2RB-1TE (2WR)
8 1.9 9 4.0 0
1RB-1TE (3WR) 0 0.0 11 8.2 1
2RB-2TE (1WR)
3 2.3 0 0.0 0
4WR 0 0.0 0 0.0 0
2RB-0TE (3WR) 0 0.0 0 0.0 0
Totals 17 6.1 32 6.2 2
Two more things: The 49ers have not established a three-receiver offense beyond third down. As a result, they have no running game from three-receiver personnel. This is one aspect the 49ers need to develop. They can accomplish some of the same things with Walker on the field instead of a third wide receiver, but Walker is only good as a receiver compared to most tight ends. Putting three wide receivers on the field could open up running lanes for Frank Gore while making the 49ers less predictable. The offensive line would benefit. ... The 49ers should be able to strike downfield from run-oriented personnel groups. The have run the ball five times in a row from their two-back group with two tight ends. Their five previous passes from this group produced gains of 29, 18 and 24 yards, with two touchdowns.