SANTA CLARA – You’re beginning to see how improved the 49ers run protection is, proper? Statistics illustrate that. Quotes present testimony. Victories reassure that.
A greater query: Why are the 49ers higher at stopping the run?
“I actually assume it’s only a belief degree on protection amongst the blokes,” defensive deal with DeForest Buckner stated. “Trusting everyone goes to be in their very own hole doing their job.”
If the 49ers (three-10) are to tug off their third straight win, their run protection must stifle the Tennessee Titans (eight-5) and the league’s tenth-greatest floor assault. That may assist get the ball again to Jimmy Garoppolo in his house debut because the 49ers beginning quarterback, a way that’s paid off in again-to-again wins.
“On the sideline, there’s power that’s being fed to the (49ers) protection, and the urgency that they really feel the necessity to get the (49ers) offense the ball,” defensive coordinator Robert Saleh stated. “It’s verbalized by these guys. You’re beginning to see the group rally round one another.”
Earlier than hyperbolizing the 49ers run protection’s strides, remember solely seven groups are permitting extra dashing yards. Plus, any enchancment seems to be magnified in comparison with final season, when the 49ers allowed their most-ever dashing yards and dashing touchdowns. To wit:
— Dashing yards per recreation: one hundred sixty five.9 final season; 121.three this season.
— Dashing touchdowns: 25 final season; 10 this season.
— one hundred-yard rushers: eleven final season; 4 this season.
— Yards per carry: four.eight final season; three.9 this season.
That yards-per-carry common ranks seventh-greatest within the league. “When you’re beneath four yards a carry, all through the current historical past of this league, you have to be within the prime 10,” Saleh stated.
Saleh’s No. 1 precedence this season was to cease the run – no shock there – and he altered the scheme to single-hole assignments.
“He confirmed clips of final yr, of what went nicely and what didn’t go properly,” Buckner stated. “A lot of the guys aren’t right here anymore.”
Reuben Foster and Brock Coyle are forming a pleasant linebacker duo. Veteran Earl Mitchell is plugging away at nostril deal with. Prime draft decide Solomon Thomas is including versatility subsequent to Buckner and a rotating forged.
“It was embarrassing final yr being thirty second within the league within the run,” Buckner stated.
That protection obtained bulldozed Oct. 22 by the Dallas Cowboys, who had forty three carries for 265 yards in a forty-10 rout.
“That was a troublesome recreation for us,” Reid stated. “We knew we couldn’t let that occur to our workforce, that if we have been going to win video games, we have now to do our half.”
Reid stated the Titans are “by far” one of many league’s greatest dashing groups and the 49ers should not stray from their assignments.
“They’ve a big, in all probability the most important, run-recreation playbook I’ve seen on tape,” Saleh stated. “They arrive out at you many various methods.
“That is going to be an amazing recreation as regards to locking in in your keys, trusting your fundamentals, being nice together with your eyes and understanding your duty,” Saleh added.
The Titans’ 17 dashing touchdowns are second solely to the New Orleans Saints (19). 5 touchdowns apiece have come from operating backs Derrick Henry (649 yards) and DeMarco Murray (552 yards) in addition to quarterback Marcus Mariota (224 yards).
“We felt good all through all the yr,” Saleh stated. “There have been a pair lame geese in there – the Dallas recreation nonetheless punches me within the abdomen. However the general construction of the protection, we don’t really feel we’ve been schemed in any respect and we really feel very sound.”
— Proper deal with Trent Brown’s season might be over if the 49ers ship him to injured reserve with a shoulder damage. He’s missed apply this week and two of the previous three video games. He hasn’t been seen in the course of the media’s locker room entry this week.
Zane Beadles began final recreation instead of Brown, and middle Daniel Kilgore vouched for Beadles’ information of assignments going ahead, if want be.
— Cornerback Greg Mabin earned extra enjoying time after relieving Dontae Johnson on Sunday, and each are anticipated to see motion Sunday, Saleh stated. Ahkello Witherspoon has been restricted in follow with a knee damage.
— Since being changed by Garoppolo, backup quarterback C.J. Beathard stated he’s ready like traditional, though his reps now have come on the scout staff, the place this week he’s impersonating Marcus Mariota. Beathard is a Franklin, Tennessee native and attended a pair Titans recreation annually, however he grew up a fan of the Chargers, the place his grandfather, Bobby, served as common supervisor.