No. 3: The wide receivers don’t like to catch the ball
Did Jimmy Garoppolo do something wrong to his receivers? Because they were all dropping the ball at alarming rates that makes me think he did. Garoppolo was tossing dimes all day long to his receivers. They just couldn’t do what their position name suggests… receive the ball.
It’s always inexcusable for an NFL receiver to drop a pass at this level. If it hits your hands you have to reel that in. Sure, there were times Garoppolo threw it in traffic, so maybe the receivers were preparing for the hit before the catch.
But the majority of his passes went to his receivers when they had only one defender on them. There were even some instances where he threw it to a wide-open receiver. The 49ers definitely left a lot of point on the board by wasting prime opportunities. The receivers definitely deserve the bulk of the blame for this loss. Other than the rookie, Dante Pettis, who finally got warm in the second half, no one else was able to step up.
Now the preseason matchup with the Houston Texans, where the receivers kept dropping passes, looks to be foreshadowing. If this goes on throughout the season, the 49ers are in some deep trouble. Head coach Kyle Shanahan was dialing up fantastic plays with so many variations that gave his receivers an open look. His efforts were wasted thanks to no one executing, and now Shanahan’s playbook is a bit revealed with nothing to show for it.
The offensive staff will surely emphasize catching in this week’s series of practices. If they sure that up, then this offense can put up at least 24 points a game.