The San Francisco 49ers offense had its share of struggles in their 19-11 victory over the Washington Redskins. Nonetheless, there were a few fun highlights, most notably Bruce Miller hauling in a 30-yard touchdown reception. The score came on the first play following a Washington fumble and essentially iced the game. The Redskins would make some noise later, but they did not have the firepower to overcome a two touchdown deficit.
Bruce Miller has shown amazing improvement over the last two months. Miller moved into the starting lineup following Moran Norris' fractured fibula in week two. The rushing game struggled in week three against the Cincinnati Bengals but then took off the following week against the Philadelphia Eagles.
The offensive line deserves a lot of credit, but Bruce Miller deserves a share of the credit. He has shown an ability to get to the second level of his blocks and open up those deeper holes for Gore to get second level yardage. Miller has had his ups and downs in blocking, but for a guy who was drafted expecting to be an NFL linebacker, I'd say he has shown great strides.
Prior to Sunday's game, Miller had five receptions for 40 yards, with four coming against the Cincinnati Bengals. For this particular player, the 49ers lined up in an I-formation and moved Miller in motion left to an offset position. After the snap, they ran a small play action fake to Gore as Miller ran a bit of a wheel route (not quite sure how best to describe the route).
Linebacker Rocky McIntosh went in motion to his right when Miller went in motion, but he was sort of caught by the play action and also almost picked by Michael Crabtree as Crabtree ran his route. Crabtree's route cut off McIntosh for a split second, but it was just enough time for get Miller free and clear. Miller hauled in the pass as Alex Smith hit him in stride and just like that it was 13-0 49ers.
I doubt the 49ers will be running that play too frequently, but having it in their back pocket will keep defenses just a little bit more honest. Head after the jump to view video of Miller's touchdown reception. If there is any trouble with the video, head HERE.
Bruce Miller's First Career Touchdown