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Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN names 49ers offense as NFL’s best in this personnel grouping

Aug 3, 2020 at 8:48 AM--

ESPN on Monday picked the NFL's best offenses at every personnel grouping. Not only did the San Francisco 49ers run their unit in 21 personnel (2 RBs, 1 TE, 2 WRs) more than any other team, they did it the best, according to the sports site.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan values his fullback, Kyle Juszczyk, and the importance of having a lead blocker opening things up in the rushing attack. That can lead to significant gains by Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman, or whoever is carrying the football.

San Francisco recorded an NFL-leading 270 snaps out of 21 personnel last season while leading all teams with 153 rushing attempts, contributing to the league's No. 2 rushing attack.

"It's a combination of playcalling and personnel under Shanahan," writes Matt Bowen of ESPN, "with heavily schemed play-action throws and misdirection (pre- and post-snap), along with the ability to gain numbers with fullback Kyle Juszczyk in the run game."

Bowen notes that San Francisco averaged 6.83 yards per play out of 21 personnel, which included 9.59 yards per pass attempt and 5.51 yards per carry. That also included a league-best 32 total explosive plays.

"Think of the middle-of-the-field throws here for Jimmy Garoppolo, who led the NFL with 1,055 yards passing out of 21," adds Bowen. "Play-action and RPOs led Deebo Samuel, Emmanuel Sanders, George Kittle and Juszczyk all to the top 10 of 21-personnel receptions."

Mostert, Coleman, and former 49ers running back Matt Breida combined to average over 4.5 yards per attempt on rushes in 21 personnel. Each finished the season with over 500 yards rushing.

The teams which ran 21 personnel the least were the Los Angeles Rams and Jacksonville Jaguars. Neither had that specific personnel group on the field once last season.

The Cleveland Browns, however, could utilize it during the upcoming season. The Minnesota Vikings ranked No. 2 behind the 49ers last season in the number of snaps (212) out of 21 personnel. New Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski was the offensive coordinator in Minnesota at the time.

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