The San Francisco 49ers have sent the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers home en route to the NFC Championship Game. After finishing the year as the sixth seed in the conference, the 49ers won back-to-back road games to get one step away from the Super Bowl.
Surprisingly, the 49ers’ offense has struggled in the two playoff games, but it hasn’t made a difference. In fact, the recent offensive struggles are terrific news for the Super Bowl hopes of Kyle Shanahan’s team, just ask Peyton Manning — who experienced a similar phenomenon with the Indianapolis Colts.
The 49ers offense has struggled in the first two playoff games
The offense in San Francisco has hit a wall in the first two games of the playoffs. Against the Packers, the numbers weren’t promising at all going into halftime.
Yet, this team has two wins — both on the road, nonetheless.
The 49ers have combined for two offensive scores in the two games, and both came against the Cowboys. Deebo Samuel had a touchdown, and Elijah Mitchell also added a score in the 23-17 victory over Dallas.
In Green Bay, the 49ers mustered just two field goals and needed a blocked punt returned for a touchdown to tie the game at 10.
In either game, Jimmy Garoppolo has yet to throw a touchdown pass, and the 49ers have not had a pass-catcher cross the 70-yard mark in the playoffs.
The offense has not been encouraging, but they are winning games against tough opponents. However, there is some good news, especially looking back to the last team to accomplish this odd feat.
The Colts were the last team to do this and they went on to win a Super Bowl
There are so many ways to win a football game, and the 49ers are the definition of that.
The last team to score just two offensive touchdowns in the Wild Card and Divisional Round was the Colts back in 2007, with Manning under center.
Do you know what the Colts did? They walked away with a Super Bowl XLI victory over the Chicago Bears, 29-17.
That Colts team defeated the Kansas City Chiefs, 23-8, then beat the Baltimore Ravens, 15-6, before exploding against the New England Patriots in the AFC title game with 38 points.
So, while the 49ers’ offensive struggles are a concern for several reasons, history shows it worked out well for the Colts 15 years ago.
The San Francisco defense has carried the burden and will need to do so against the Rams
The San Francisco defense has led the way in the two playoffs games thus far, and they will need to do the same in another matchup with the Los Angeles Rams.
The good news? The 49ers have defeated the Rams both times this season, although LA just stunned the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in what might have been Tom Brady’s final game.
San Francisco frustrated Dak Prescott and the talented Cowboys offense two weeks ago, and they just held Aaron Rodgers without a passing touchdown in a weird game at Lambeau Field.
The defense has gotten after the quarterback and will need to do so against the Rams at SoFi Stadium on Sunday.
While everybody seems concerned about the struggling 49ers offense with Garoppolo under center, there are a lot of reasons to feel optimistic about this team, especially looking at the past.
Can San Francisco channel the Colts vibes from 2007 and make a Super Bowl despite a struggling offense? Or perhaps the offense comes to life against the Rams?
Rams-49ers, the trilogy should be a good one with a Super Bowl berth at stake.
Stats Courtesy of Pro Football Reference