San Diego Tops San Francisco In Overtime: 3 Things We Learned
1.) The Chargers Have The Offensive Firepower To Keep Up In The Playoffs
Starters Ryan Mathews and Keenan Allen both sat out against the 49ers, but the Chargers were still able to put up 38 points. With both players expected to return, the Chargers have a running game and four capable pass catchers, with Malcolm Floyd, Eddie Royal, and Antonio Gates are readily contributing. Their defense may not be playoff-caliber, but their offense is among the most potent and explosive when healthy.
2.) Despite Putting Up 35 Points, The 49ers' Passing Game Is Still In Question
Frank Gore and Colin Kaepernick combined for over 300 rushing yards, with each player having more ground yardage than Kaepernick had through the air. Three of the 49ers' touchdowns were through the ground, while another was on defense. The 49ers can compete with a run game and solid defensive play, but they cannot win when they average less than five yards per pass attempt.
3.) The 49ers Need To Fix Up Their Secondary
It is well-known that the 49ers have plenty of talent up front, but their secondary has been exploited all year long. Some of that can be attributed to injuries at the linebacker positions, with Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman, and Aldon Smith all missing time, but they have to be able to hold their own when the rush is not there. The safeties have not been too bad this year, with Eric Reid having a nice follow-up season and Antoine Bethea exceeding expectations, but the cornerbacks have been disappointing to say the least. Perrish Cox played well at times, most noteably in the begging of the year, while Tramaine Brock and Chris Culliver have both shown flashes of potential, but they have all been targeted often. Despite some flaws on offense, this may be the biggest need heading into the offseason.