Uh... the 49ers are ranked 9th in the league in points scored. That's after the 6 points against the Ravens (I believe they were 6th or 7th before that). And before you come out and say it has to do with D/ST, they actually rank in the bottom of the league in points generated by D/ST... so yeah, it's all the offense. If you're worried about them covering this line, you should cite their low yardage totals. But they have one of the best points per yard gained averages in recent NFL memory (going back to the 2007 Patriots). Mostly, this is thanks to leading the league in starting field position.
Wait, so they lead the league in starting field position, but the D/ST doesn't contribute to their scoring? That doesn't make sense. By the way, SF has only scored 30 or more points twice this season, and one was against Tampa Bay. Also, they're less than 1 PPG away from being ranked in the bottom half of the league in PPG. Furthermore, they rank just 20th in offensive DVOA this year. So yes, our assertion that they aren't a "blow-up" offense is totally spot on.
Fair enough, but they've been surprisingly consistent at scoring points, for a team with a reputation of not being great on offense. If you want to make the cutoff at 30 point games, then yes, they're not going to post a lot of those. But they're consistently scoring in the 20s, especially at home, where they've scored 20 or more every game this year with an average of over 29 PPG. I guess I did phrase that D/ST thing poorly, because obviously their ST help them score for sure. But my point was just that it's not like a huge portion of their points are coming from Teddy Ginn or pick-sixes or whatever. Basically, it's not as flukey as you might think. When you see a really high points per yard gained team, your first thought is they might have a lot of those flukey plays. But with the 49ers, it's mostly to do with field position (they're actually ranked 1st in both offensive and defensive starting field position!), and if you ask me, that's about the least flukey way you could amass a high points/yardage stat.Anyway, on the podcast, you guys did said "the thing that scares me about this team is that they don't score a lot of points." I'm not saying their offense is amazing, I'm just saying they've been able to score better than most of those teams you think of with 'defensive reputations,' and I wouldn't have been as worried about the points as you guys. That's all. But I think Prince picked the 49ers over the spread anyway, so who cares! I'd pick my high school team over them right now!!!
In saying "they don't score a lot of points" that was directly in reference to covering a 13.5 point spread. They've won three games by 14 or more points, and none of those teams have as good a pass rush as the Rams. In a very similar game, they wouldn't have covered that in their Week 8 matchup against Cleveland. They're really nothing more than an average offense that has an above average special teams unit. Their ST ranks 2nd in DVOA currently, just behind the Bears. That's fine. The Ravens won a Super Bowl this way a decade ago. My point was that 13.5 is a lot of points to give to a team that is far more likely to settle into the 24-27 point range on the high end. I mean, San Fran came out pretty flat against Washington and it's highly possible they're looking past these next two games.