Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports


Film From the Field House: Highlights from Weeks 8 and 9 With One Concern

Bret Rumbeck
Nov 10, 2019 at 8:00 AM0



It would not matter if the San Francisco 49ers were winless, the Week 10 match-up against the detestable Seattle Seahawks would be a big game.

Luckily for the Faithful and all of football America, the 49ers enter Monday evening undefeated and standing atop the NFC West.

The 49ers were nearly a tale of two teams during Weeks 8 and 9. After playing almost flawless football against the Carolina Panthers, the 49ers had to put up a bit more of a fight to top the Arizona Cardinals.

Fortunately, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo guided the team to a three-point victory in Arizona, throwing for 317 yards and four touchdown passes.

I've pulled a few of my favorite plays from both games, along with one area of concern.

Week 8: San Francisco 49ers vs. Carolina Panthers


1st Quarter: 2nd and 10 at the CAR 41 (11:49)
The 49ers' ground attack is a joy to watch. Through eight games, the team is ranked third in total rush yards, averaging 4.5 yards per attempt and 68 first downs.

Midway through the 49ers' first offensive possession, head coach Kyle Shanahan called 19 Support. 18/19 Support is a single-back concept designed to attack the perimeter of the strong side of the formation.

The men up front blocked the run to the letter, allowing running back Tevin Coleman to gain 22-yards. Garoppolo threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders four plays later.

1st Quarter: 2nd and 11 at the SF 24 (3:52)
There was a time not too long ago where 49er fans begged for more screen plays sprinkled throughout an offensive strategy.

Well, Gentle Reader, fans must be enjoying the screen scheme in Shanahan's system.

The play above was one of my favorites while reviewing the game film. Every element of the play was perfect: the play-action deception, tackle Justin Skule getting to the second level, and tight end George Kittle gaining enough yardage for a first down.

When the 49ers run a filter screen, the offensive line makes a full turn away from the call and uses gap blocking principles.

Skule was the free offensive lineman on the play, and his job was to climb vertically to the second level, keeping an eye out for defenders from the inside-out.

Once again, the 49ers scored on the drive on a Coleman 19-yard run.

3rd Quarter: 1st and10 at the SF 40 (11:24)
The 2019 49ers' defense is definitely born-again hardcore. Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh has eleven men working in tandem, rarely making mental errors.

Pro football experts and fans alike know how the 49ers struggled with consistency on the edge in previous seasons. The struggle is gone this season with the additions of rookie Nick Bosa and veteran Dee Ford.

I get a little nervous when fourth-year veteran Robert Blair III is rotating in the game. He's a capable player, but his talent level is nowhere near Bosa or Ford.

One fundamental mistake an edge defender can make is immediately knifing down the line of scrimmage. He must set the edge and force the ball carrier back inside. If needed, he needs to take on pulling linemen or lead blocks from a tight end.

Unfortunately, Blair shot down the line and forgot his responsibilities as the edge lineman. He allowed running back Christian McCaffrey to score on a 40-yard run.

3rd Quarter: 2nd and 4 at the SF 43 (9:26)
The 49ers' offense responded to McCaffrey's touchdown run on its next possession.

During the timeout, Shanahan called the above play, which was ideal against Carolina's coverage.

Shanahan's twist on the play was lining up Kittle as the F-receiver and tight end Levine Toilolo as the Y-receiver. I don't think that's the chief reason for the play's success, but I am willing to bet it was a small thing that threw off Carolina's defense.


What helped Kittle gain 23-yards was safety Eric Reid's blown coverage. After Kittle covered the first five yards of his route, Reid turned to his right and let Kittle run free up the seam. Kittle had 12-yards of open turf in front of him.

The best part of the play was Garoppolo coming back to Kittle, who was his second read.

3rd Quarter: 1st and 10 at the CAR 25 (0:29)
Near the close of the 3rd quarter, Carolina decided to attack the edge again with a run. And, once again, the Panthers went after Blair.

Carolina was set up for success on the play, starting with the motion which pulled linebackers Kwon Alexander and Fred Warner far enough away to make them irrelevant.

Down blocks are difficult for defenders to overcome, but Blair had no shot to fight off the block and ended up being engulfed.

Week 9: San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals


2nd Quarter: 1st and 9 at the SF45 (11:17)
I'm a guy of pure taste. I enjoy jet protection, B-gap blitzes, and slant routes that gain 32-yards.

Fortunately, Sanders fulfilled one of my wishes during the 49ers' fourth offense.

'Lion' is an old west coast offense term that indicates double slant routes. Shanahan's kept that term in his playbook, and I like that hat tip to previous generations.

Slant routes also work best when the defense plays a safety 15-yards off the line of scrimmage. I am not an offensive coordinator, but I'd have Garoppolo audible to Z-Stick Lion every time he sees Seattle in similar coverage.

3rd Quarter: 1st and 10 at the ARI 37 (11:22)
Arizona came alive in the 2nd half, using a no-huddle offense and attacking on the ground. Quarterback Kyler Murray ran the ball five times against the 49ers in the second half and gained 34 yards. Like against Carolina, the 49ers' edge defenders had the bad habit of knifing down the line without setting the edge.

I trust Bosa's athletic ability more than I trust a deadbeat family member repaying a $50 loan. It serves Bosa well nearly every time he's on the field. But he was overly aggressive on the play, and like Blair, got caught bolting down the line of scrimmage.

Like Carolina, Arizona added a small twist on the running play by pulling the center and right guard; that moved Alexander and Warner enough to the left to open up the running lane for Murray.

Later in the quarter, Murray gained 21-yards on a similar play. This time, Blair was on the edge and again was caught moving too far down the line of scrimmage.

The 49ers are well aware of Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson's running ability. It's slightly concerning to see both Bosa and Blair allow significant gains from Murray on zone-read plays that are not new ideas to the NFL.

McCaffery's long runs and Murray's zone-read successes are some of the first blatant errors I've seen from the 49ers' defense this season.

This year's 49ers are a well-rounded team that has shown the NFL it can overcome small errors and win football games. The edge issues are concerning because they look like a slight regression to last season's errors.

However, Saleh's had enough time to correct these edge mistakes. The 49ers will walk off the chunky Levi's turf Monday night, still unbeaten and asking for more.

Images courtesy of NFL.com.
Statistics courtesy of Pro Football Reference.
  • Bret Rumbeck
  • Written by:
    Bret Rumbeck has been writing about the 49ers since 2017 for 49ers Webzone and 49ers Hub. He is a Turlock, CA native, and has worked for two members of the US House of Representatives and one US Senator. When not breaking down game film, Bret spends his time seeking out various forms of heavy metal. Feel free to follow him or direct inquiries to @brumbeck.
The views within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


0 Comments

  • No Comments

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



49ers sign former Eagles QB Nate Sudfeld to a one-year deal

By David Bonilla
Apr 7, 2021

The San Francisco 49ers announced that the team has signed former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nate Sudfeld to a one-year deal. The Washington Football Team made Sudfeld a sixth-round selection out of Indiana in 2016. He signed with the Eagles practice squad before the 2017 season. Sudfeld completed five-of-12 attempts (41.7 percent) for 32 yards and an interception in one game with the Eagles last season, per NFL.com. San Francisco now has four quarterbacks on its roster. They are Jimmy Garoppolo, Josh Rosen, Josh Johnson, and now Sudfeld. The team is expected to draft a quarterback with the No. 3 overall pick, which they acquired on March 26 via a trade with the Miami Dolphins. Sudfeld, 27, has completed 67.6 percent of his passes for 188 yards



49ers insider shocked by details of QB Nate Sudfeld's one-year deal

By David Bonilla
Apr 8, 2021

Details emerged on the one-year deal former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nate Sudfeld signed with the San Francisco 49ers. Salary cap site OverTheCap.com provided the breakdown. Sudfeld will earn a base salary of $990,000 this year, of which $252,000 is guaranteed, and the quarterback will carry a cap hit of $850,000. ESPN's Field Yates reports that there is $137,500 worth of incentives available. Some recent contracts signed:Lions CB Quinton Dunbar: $137.5K to sign, $990K base salaryCardinals QB Colt McCoy: $137,500 to



OL Daniel Brunskill signs one-year tender, 49ers waive TE Chase Harrell

By Site Staff
Apr 13, 2021

The San Francisco 49ers announced that exclusive-rights free agent Daniel Brunskill, an offensive lineman, has signed his one-year tender. The Niners tendered the one-year contract to Brunskill on March 12. The Atlanta Falcons signed Brunskill as an undrafted free agent out of San Diego State in 2017. He played for the San Diego Fleet of the now-defunct AAF league before signing with the 49ers on April 11, 2019. Brunskill, 27, has 30 game appearances and 23 starts through his two seasons in San Francisco. The versatile offensive lineman started all 16 games in 2020 and has experience at center, guard, and tackle. San Francisco also announced that Chase Harrell has been waived. The tight end signed a reserve/future contract with the team on January



Ex-scout says 49ers selecting Mac Jones would be 'one of the most arrogant picks' in NFL history

By David Bonilla
Apr 14, 2021

On March 26, the San Francisco 49ers shocked the NFL world by executing a blockbuster trade, moving up nine spots in the upcoming draft to No. 3 overall. After quarterbacks Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson are likely taken off the draft board with the top two selections, the Niners will have their choice of three prospects — Justin Fields of Ohio State, Trey Lance of North Dakota State, or the less popular choice among fans, Mac Jones of Alabama. Fields and Lance are seen as more athletic, and analysts feel both are the better long-term prospects when compared to Jones. Of course, the most important evaluation will come from head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch, with the former likely having the most influence in the decision. Most mock


Featured

More by Bret Rumbeck

More Articles

Share 49ersWebzone