In 2016, the San Francisco 49ers won a total of two games – both at the expense of the Los Angeles Rams. At the same time, the Atlanta Falcons were on their way to an 11-5 record and an appearance in Super Bowl LI. Yes, we all know what happened that day in Houston. Dan Quinn’s squandered a 28-3 third-quarter lead to the New England Patriots. And much of the heat fell on Falcons’ offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. But he’s now the Head Coach of the Niners. Led by new general manager John Lynch, this franchise has been busy this offseason and they’ve added talent everywhere and especially on the offensive side of the football.

So can Shanahan fix an attack that has had numerous issues in recent years?

What to fix

This past season, the San Francisco 49ers finished 31st in the league in total offense and dead last in the NFL in passing yards per game. Quarterbacks Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick combined to complete only 58.5 percent of their passes and the combo was sacked 47 times. But, to be fair, the latter seemed to get better as the season unfolded. Kaepernick, who recently got a look-see from the defending NFC West champion Seattle Seahawks, finished the year with 16 TD passes and only four interceptions. He would lose three of his six fumbles but also ran for 468 yards and two touchdowns. Still, regardless of who played quarterback in 2016, the 49ers went the entire season without scoring at least 30 points in any game.

Enter Shanahan, whose Atlanta Falcons amassed 540 points this past year – tied for the eighth-most in one season in NFL history. Their offensive unit alone totaled 58 touchdowns, 38 through the air thanks to NFL MVP Matt Ryan.

Lots of alterations

Where to begin? The San Francisco 49ers have a bunch of new quarterbacks, in particular free-agent additions Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley – both members of the Chicago Bears in 2016.

Either or both will not only be handing off to Carlos Hyde (988 rushing yards, 6 TDs in ’16) but to veteran Tim Hightower (New Orleans Saints) and possible fullback Kyle Juszczyk (Baltimore Ravens) as well. Wide receiver Jeremy Kerley led the Niners with 64 receptions this past season but averaged only 10.4 yards per grab and scored only three touchdowns.

Now there are a slew of new faces at wideout in Pierre Garcon (Washington Redskins), Aldrick Robinson (Atlanta Falcons) and Marquise Goodwin (Buffalo Bills).

The team has capable tight ends in Vance McDonald and Garrett Celek, but Lynch still signed Logan Paulsen. The 49ers swung a deal with the Ravens to add center Jeremy Zuttah. And the team has been stockpiling veteran offensive line depth, adding tackle Garry Gilliam, guard Brandon Fusco, and center Tim Barnes. There’s a lot of new faces on this offense and understandably so. But can Shanahan get this new-look group all on the same page? It’s safe to say he’s grown as a coach over the years. While this is certainly going to be a challenge, he’s going to get the time necessary to succeed.

It may not be overnight but this could be an interesting offense as the season unfolds.

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