49ers with Matt Barrows

The premier blog for news and insights on the San Francisco 49ers

Leading Off: Where would 49ers be without Vernon Davis?

10/16/2013 12:00 AM

10/08/2014 10:51 AM

Brent Jones. John Frank. Russ Francis. Ted Kwalick.

The 49ers have been fortunate to have had a few good tight ends, but none of the aforementioned former stars reached the level Vernon Davis is currently on.

In fact, there may not be a better tight end in the game today.

With injuries to wide receivers Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham, and the team's younger receivers unable to play consistently well, imagine where the 49ers would be without Davis.

He already has one more touchdown reception (six) than he had in 2012, and his 404 receiving yards are 144 shy of his total last season.

Since the loss to the Colts in which the 49ers scored just seven points – a game Davis missed – the 49ers are 3-0 while averaging 33.6 points per game. In those three games, Davis had 286 receiving yards and four touchdown receptions.

But what has made Davis stand out this season – and most of last year – is his ability to make plays. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick has learned that all he needs to do is give Davis a chance to make a play on a ball – which he usually turns into a big gain if not a touchdown.

Veteran receiver Anquan Boldin (29 catches, 421 yards, two touchdowns) has been a key performer in the 49ers' offense this season, and running back Frank Gore (477 rushing yards, three touchdowns) has been spectacular as usual.

With Patrick Willis battling injuries, linebacker NaVorro Bowman has been a mainstay on defense.

But without Davis in the lineup, would the 49ers be 4-2?

What to watch

Baseball playoffs, NLCS (1 p.m., TBS), ALCS (5 p.m., FOX40): The Dodgers host the Cardinals in a crucial Game 5 while Boston visits Detroit for Game 4.

Today's poll

Who has been the 49ers' MVP thus far?

NaVorro Bowman

Vernon Davis

Frank Gore

Colin Kaepernick

Vote above; or, go to www.sacbee.com/sports

Tuesday's poll results

Which fan act was most deplorable?

Candlestick wave: 46%

Reliant cheer: 54%

Total votes: 130

About This Blog

Matt Barrows was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Sacramento Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the San Francisco 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green. Reach Barrows at mbarrows@sacbee.com.
Twitter: @mattbarrows

Key links

Schedules, scores, stats

NFL news

Pro Football Focus


Monday Morning Quarterback / Sports Illustrated

Los Angeles Times NFL

RotoWorld / NBC Sports


Join the Discussion

The Sacramento Bee is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service