Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports


Coach’s Corner: How the 49ers Can Reach the Super Bowl in 5 Easy Steps

Gilbert Brink
Jan 14, 2020 at 10:28 AM


The San Francisco 49ers are at the doorstep of Super Bowl 54. Aaron Rodgers, Mike LaFluer and the Green Bay Packers are the last line of defense between the 49ers and an opportunity to bring home their 6th Lombardi Trophy. These two teams took the field in Santa Clara back on November 24th in prime-time for the world to see. The result, a drubbing to the tune of 37-8 as San Francisco dominated Green Bay from opening kickoff to the final victory formation.

That blowout, strike it from the record. The 49ers aren't going to win this one by 29 points. In the second biggest game of the year, and the biggest game of many of these players' careers, expect the intensity to be high and the coaches to empty their bags of tricks for a trip to Miami on February 2nd. If Kyle Shanahan is to steer the 49er faithful to Miami, here is how he will have to do it:

Rush 4, No More.


The 49ers defense is currently at its zenith. With Kwon Alexander, Jaquiski Tartt and Dee Ford returning from injury last week the 49ers defense dominated the Minnesota Vikings on all but one play, that play being the deep pass to Stefon Diggs where Ahkello Witherspoon stumbled and let up a touchdown. Take way that one play, it's a 27-3 win. Witherspoon was replaced by Emmanuel Moseley after that play and the defense never looked back.

This is the defense John Lynch created to counter-balance the offensive magic of Kyle Shanahan. With this defense there is no need to blitz, the linebackers cover exceptionally well and the secondary plays with great chemistry and communication. Therefore, do not blitz. Let your ferocious defensive line hunt an older, slower Aaron Rodgers and watch as the back 7 completely suffocates Packers pass catchers.

Run, Run, Run!


In their first meeting the 49ers torched the Packers with their passing game. That was a game where the 49ers were missing top tackle Joe Staley and Matt Brieda due to injuries. During the divisional round tilt vs. Minnesota the 49ers were able to run the ball an astounding 47 times, Shanahan was shooting for 30. His philosophy here being, when you run the ball you limit the ability to make mistakes and help the other team's offense.

Rodgers, even at this advanced state, doesn't need the benefits of a short-field caused by 49ers mistakes (dropped passes turning into picks, 3rd and long situations due to sacks etc..). Shanahan should stay consistent and lean on his triumvirate of Coleman, Brieda & Mostert.

Juice the Pass Game


The Packers defense doesn't instill dread in its opponents. It's a good unit, with a set of very good pass-rushers. This will sound familiar to the 49ers, as the Vikings posed a similar challenge in the divisional round. The big difference between the Packers and the Vikings: the Packers' corners cover better but their linebackers cover worse. While Kittle gashed the linebackers in coverage during their first meeting, it's time for Shanahan to feed his secret offensive weapon fullback Kyle Juszczyk.

One of the more under-rated performers of the 49ers offense, Kyle Juszczyk can beat linebackers consistently in the pass game and accumulate large chunk plays down the field. A few well-timed pass plays to Juice could help extend drives and break for big gains.

Lock Down Adams


Davante Adams is a very good receiver, fortunately for the 49ers, he is the only good receiver the Packers have. If the 49ers put the clamps on Adams it is very hard to imagine anyone else in the Packers' offense doing much damage by catching the ball.

Keep the Crowd Alive


This one isn't so much a decision, as it is more of a concept. Kirk Cousins had a very difficult time hearing at Levi's stadium this past Sunday. He was constantly gesturing towards his ears letting the coaches know he could not hear. Good job Faithful. Cousins was sacked 6 times and completely lost for the majority of the game.

Kyle Shanahan had to take note of this, as the 49ers' lead grew the pass rush and the defense became more disruptive than ever. Getting out to an early lead will do the 49ers wonders. This may mean breaking from tradition and opting to receive in the first half if we win the coin toss. In big moments, sometimes you must do things differently. Don't give the fans a reason to sit down and watch as the rabid 49ers fans bring the noise to assist an already dominant defense.
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.


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