- Future Sight- Three NBA Teams Looking Ahead - February 19, 2020
- Backup And Restore- Two NBA Teams Reloading On The Move - February 10, 2020
- Reclaiming Destiny- The San Francisco 49ers Superbowl LIV Preview - January 31, 2020
The running back position in the NFL has lost it’s luster in this current era of play. The reasons stem from a variety of things: from more pass plays, to dual backfields, to defenses just plain old taking them out. Yes, the position may be diminished but the run facet of the game itself has never been more important.
49ers’ half back Raheem Mostert became the first player in NFL history to rush for over 200 yards (220) and score four touchdowns in a playoff game. The different ways they got him the ball against the Green Bay Packers was nothing less than spectacular.
The push by the offensive line looked like a college team playing it’s cupcake portion of the schedule. They used trap plays where the guards pull out to the edge and pin the first defender they could get their hands on. They used pitch plays and “jet sweeps” to get him out on the edge where he could make a cut and turn up field.
They even utilized wide receiver Deebo Samuel a number of ways to help the run game. His pre-snap movement was used to stifle the defense and you often saw him out on the edge blocking for Mostert. He even finished with two big carries of his own for 43 yards and he emerged out of the backfield for one of his two receptions as well.
Jimmy Garoppolo only had to attempt eight passes and the game was over by halftime essentially. The most impressive thing is Mostert is not the 49ers’ only running back, he was just the hot hand. Kyle Shanahan is known to keep riding the wave but he has a few guys he can toss out there if needs be.
The Packers had no answer for the San Francisco rushing attack and sometimes they seemed to not even know the question. The 49ers’ offense uses its rushing attack to set-up the pass more (better) than any team in the league. You never know what’s coming out that backfield because everything is setup that way.
The Kansas Chiefs are on notice that this won’t be as easy a task as targeting one guy with their defense like they did with Derrick Henry and the Tennessee Titans. They’ll have to be ready for multiple runners and multiple blocking schemes if they want to stifle the 49ers’ ground game en route to their first Super Bowl championship.