Gabbert, 49ers' Third-down Offense Coming Up Short

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers' offense ranks 29th in the NFL, and quarterback Blaine Gabbert is near the bottom in every statistical ranking at his position.

Coming off back-to-back substandard games in blowout losses at Carolina and Seattle, Gabbert faces an important game Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys at Levi's Stadium.

"It's not my first rodeo going through this," Gabbert said. "Everybody has their own opinions. Everybody has the best answers for what's going on. But it's up to the guys in that building. It's up to the 11 guys on the field on offense to get this thing right.

"The way to do that is just stick to your routine, stick to your preparation, stick to the way you practice throughout the week and the beautiful thing about the NFL is you've got a game on Sunday. So it's a quick turnaround and we're just focused on the Cowboys."

Gabbert has completed 53 of 96 pass attempts (55.2 percent) for 532 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions. Gabbert, a 71.6 career passer, has a passer rating of 68.6 through three games.

One of the 49ers' bigger issues has been their third-down conversion rate. The 49ers are converting just 34.8 percent of their third downs, ranking 24th in the NFL. The 49ers failed on their first 10 third-down chances against Seattle. Gabbert completed four of his eight pass attempts, but none during that stretch was long enough to achieve a first down. He also hit Quinton Patton was a pass that Patton bobbled and was intercepted. Patton was far short of the yard marker, too.

The 49ers had a difficult time getting open on patterns deep enough to get beyond the first-down marker against Seattle, so Gabbert was forced to throw underneath.

"It was just kind of the way the game was going and there were plays, if we break a tackle we get the first down, if we make a throw we get the first down," Gabbert said. "We just have to execute the play that's called. The quarterback's got to make a play. The offensive line has to be on their blocking-scheme. The receivers need to get open. There are 11 guys on offense that have to work together for any play to work, much more on third down.

"Those are huge plays in the games and we know that. We just have to do a better job of executing there this coming week."

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