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Breaking Down Sunday’s Passing Game

J.T. O’Sullivan was an efficient 14-for-20 against the Cardinals on Sunday, his one interception notwithstanding. Looking at the breakdown of O’Sullivan’s attempted passes, it seems as though this truly is a Mike Martz offense. Tight ends are primarily afterthoughts while running backs enjoy a healthy amount of passing work. Here’s how the 49ers passing stats broke down on Sunday.

J.T. O’Sullivan 14-20, 195 yards, 0 touchdowns, 1 interception


Running Back
Frank Gore – Passed at 4 times for 4 receptions and 55 yards.
DeShaun Foster – Passed at 1 time for 1 reception and 12 yards
Zak Keasey – Passed at 2 times for 2 receptions and 13 yards (one lost fumble)

Tight End
Vernon Davis – Passed at 3 times for 3 receptions and 51 yards

Wide Receiver
Bryant Johnson – Passed at 5 times for 3 receptions and 48 yards
Arnaz Battle – Passed at 2 times for 1 one reception and 16 yards
Josh Morgan – Passed at 3 times for 0 receptions.
Isaac Bruce – Passed at 0 times.

The last part is glaring. Bruce wasn’t even targeted for a pass. The Niners showed strong playmaking ability at times, with Davis and Johnson each recording 30-plus yard receptions, true to form in Martz’s vertical offense. However, Bruce and Davis (the team’s best receiver) need to be targeted more than three times combined for the Niners to have any semblance of an effective passing offense.

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