Over four games, the Niners are averaging 200 rush yards per contest, far and away the tops in the league in this particular category. Head coach Kyle Shanahan has received dynamic rushing results from running backs Matt Breida, Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman and even Jeff Wilson.
One could make the argument the 49ers haven’t faced a lot of good run defenses this season, but there’s not a lot of truth to that, as the averages below point out:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 3.1 yards allowed per rush (first)Cincinnati Bengals: 5.0 yards allowed per rush (27th)Pittsburgh Steelers: 3.9 yards allowed per rush (ninth)Cleveland Browns: 5.2 yards allowed per rush (29th)
The Rams, meanwhile, are allowing an average of 3.8 rush yards per carry, which is good for seventh in the league.
Looking at the correlation between all the numbers, one would figure the 49ers would have some difficulty moving the ball on the ground in Los Angeles this Sunday. Perhaps somewhere in the region of 100 total yards, or so.
Juszczyk isn’t available, though, out four to six weeks with a knee sprain.
The fullback fills more than a handful of roles in Shanahan’s offense, which extend beyond just being a lead blocker. But this role is of extreme importance, and the fix isn’t as simple as just inserting another player, like Wilson, into Juszczyk’s stead for the time being.
Instead, Shanahan will likely have to call for more three-wide receiver sets, eliminating the fullback’s spot on the field, and letting a tandem of Breida and Coleman attempt runs without the services of a true lead blocker.