Why Baldy was 'confused' by 49ers early offensive drives


Many who watched the 49ers' frustrating loss to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 5 were confused by some of the offensive play calls. 

NFL Network's Brian Baldinger was one of them. 

Baldinger was rather critical of the 49ers' opening drive, specifically the first few plays. In the first video, he made note of an unblocked Cardinals' pass rusher who could have seriously disrupted the play if not for the legs of rookie quarterback Trey Lance, who escaped pressure for a first down. 

On the second play of the first drive, Baldinger points out some obvious confusion between Lance and rookie running back Elijah Mitchell on a read-option play. Whether it be miscommunication at the line, poor execution, or poor play-calling, Baldinger was confused at some of the 49ers' early plays. 

In the second clip, Baldinger critiques one of San Francisco's five fourth down attempts. On the fourth-and-2 play, Lance keeps the ball and hits the hole ahead of guard Laken Tomlinson, resulting in the Cardinals' defensive line stopping the rookie short of the first down. On this play, the guard (Tomlinson in this case) needed to hit the hole and create running room before Lance got there. He was too slow to get over there, resulting in Lance being stopped short. 

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There was plenty of criticism directed at coach Kyle Shanahan during and after the game, especially on a few head-scratching calls on fourth down. While he certainly could shoulder some of the blame, Baldinger seems to believe that some of that blame should be directed at the players and the offensive unit as a whole. 


The 49ers will enter their Week 6 bye week with an abysmal record of 2-3 after losing three straight games. Following the week off, it'll be interesting to see how the 49ers adjust their offense to either Lance or veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. 

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