Originally posted on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 5/26/13
In the midst of the Michael Crabtree loss, one facet of the San Francisco offense that could suffer is third down conversions. Crabtree was especially good at going across the middle and controlling the sideline routes in converting third downs and keeping the offense on the field. Without Crabtree, the team now will look at different ways to convert third downs or more pressure will fall on the shoulders of quarterback Colin Kepler. According to Mike Sando of ESPN, the impact of the Crabtree injury hits hardest for the young quarterback who threw to the receiver the most in those situations. If the 49ers want to continue their growth on offense in the absence of Crabtree, they will have to find other players to fill the third down void. Sando writes: Here are the target rates for 49ers players on first and second downs over the same time period (minimum 15 pass routes): Michael Crabtree 37.5 Mario Manningham 32.4 Randy Moss 25.9, Delanie Walker 22.2 Vernon Davis 21.6 LaMichael James 20.7 Ted Ginn Jr. 20.0 Garrett Celek 20.0 Bruce Miller 9.4 Frank Gore 6.8.
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