My boss asked if I had any ideas on 49ers topics to write in conjunction with the Super Bowl.My first thought was, "How about something on what the 49ers can learn from the teams that made it to the Super Bowl?"It sounded like a great idea. But when a team, such as the 49ers, makes it to the conference championship game, the biggest lesson to be learned is . . . don't lose the championship game.
The 49ers lost in overtime to the Giants. A team that had a plus-28 turnover margin during the regular season, had a minus-2 margin in their season-ending game against the Giants.Of course, the 49ers' defense is good enough to win a championship. Defenses ranked 27th (Giants) and 31st (New England Patriots) in yards allowed made it to the Super Bowl.So does that mean that offense wins championships?The Patriots were second and the Giants were eighth in total yards on offense. The 49ers were 26th in the NFL on offense.The 49ers were ranked 31st in the league on third-down efficiency. The 49ers were particularly inept in the NFC Championship Game against the Giants, as they converted just 1 of 13 third-down attempts.Another bleak area for the 49ers was their red-zone offense. They were 30th in the NFL with touchdowns on just 40.7-percent of their trips inside the opponents' 20-yard line. The 49ers scored 35 touchdowns and kicked 44 field goals during the regular season. By contrast, the Patriots scored 61 TDs and kicked 28 FGs, while the Giants scored 47 TDs and 19 FGs.Cleveland, Kansas City, Seattle and Washington were the only other teams that had more field goals that touchdowns this season.There is little doubt the 49ers' offense, most notably their passing game, must improve. New England had the second-ranked passing attack. The Giants were fifth. The 49ers were 29th.So those are the lessons the 49ers can learn from the Super Bowl teams -- as if they hadn't already figured it out.