On short rest, the Los Angeles Rams won’t have much time to correct their run-defense, which allowed more than 200 yards against the Washington Redskins. While the 0-2 San Francisco 49ers look like a favorable matchup for the Rams, sleeping on the running game could lead to the 49ers first win of the season.
Should that happen, the praise for the upset win will be aimed at RB Carlos Hyde.
Hyde is the offense
Through two games, Hyde has 220 yards from scrimmage, which accounts for 47 percent of San Francisco’s offensive output. The 49ers abysmal offense shouldn’t take anything away from this fact.
Per ProFootballFocus, Hyde is averaging 3.9 yards before contact. Through two games, he has 169 yards on the ground, 61 of which came on a huge run against the Seattle Seahawks in Week Two. Take that run away? Hyde is still averaging 4.5 yards per-carry.
Hyde carried his offense this past Sunday, setting up two scoring drives following big runs from him and San Francisco still lost.
As the lead back and as an extra option in the passing game, nearly half the offense runs through Carlos Hyde.
Let’s talk about Brian Hoyer for a minute
QB Brian Hoyer is the best quarterback the 49ers have, and he’s been abysmal. The last game against the Seattle Seahawks was one of the worst games from a quarterback I have seen in recent memory.
Against the Seahawks, Hoyer threw 27 passes, only three of which went beyond 10 yards. All three were incomplete passes. Of the 88 percent of his passes thrown 10 yards or shorter, 63 percent were thrown to the right side of the field.
Hoyer has two interceptions on the season. This one is my favorite so far.
The linebacker was literally sitting there the entire time. If the line-of-scrimmage was a fence, Hoyer and the Mike Linebacker could chat like Tim Allen and Wilson on Home Improvement. And just like Wilson, Hoyer didn’t fully see his neighbor, and threw the interception right to him.
If Hoyer was a candle, his scent would be mediocrity.
Teamwork makes the dreamwork
Hyde is a huge contributor to this offense thanks to his talent as a running back. Obviously, his runs wouldn’t be possible without the offensive line. But a closer look at the offensive line leaves you with an impressive look at how the line operates on the ground game and how they are able to open running lanes for Hyde.
Exhibit A: Hyde’s 61 yard-run vs Seahawks
Everyone on the line down-blocks to their right and the fullback cuts to his left and takes out the corner creeping up on the line-of-scrimmage. With a lane wide-open, Hyde runs through and it looks like he’s going to be tackled by Cam Chancellor close close to the LOS.
But Chancellor is distracted by the wide-receiver running behind Hoyer on what looks like a fake-run-end-around. Chancellor drifts away from Hyde’s path and then runs for a massive gain.
Exhibit B: Hyde’s 12 yard-run vs the Carolina Panthers
Again, a cutback run. Everyone is down-blocking left. But this time, there is no fullback to cut out the defender on the end. Instead, the tight end assumes the tackle spot and turns his back completely towards the running lane. The tackle takes out the linebacker and then a tunnel is formed that Hyde could stroll through.
This play works because the tight end manages to hold his block just long enough for Hyde to run past. Despite being driven back, the tight end seals the block.
Exhibit C: Hyde’s 18-yard run vs Carolina
This play isn’t anything too fancy. Before the ball is snapped, the tight end is kicked out towards the slot position, and the outside linebacker goes from shadowing the tight end, to showing blitz.
The ball is snapped and the offensive line opens a massive lane for Hyde. The left guard does a great job waiting for the linebacker to come to him before breaking away from his first-level block. The fullback does his job and wipes out the outside linebacker.
There’s a reason why Hyde averages nearly 4-yards before contact.