Entering the regular season, one of the questions 49ers fans were considering was how many 3-WR sets we might see from the team. The 49ers added Brandon Lloyd, Stevie Johnson, and Bruce Ellington this offseason, giving them tremendous depth at the wide receiver position. After one game, we don't have final answers, but we do have some interesting results.
The 49ers snap count shows the 49ers using their extra receivers more than their second tight end, and combined, more than their fullback. Bruce Miller had 23 snaps, Brandon Lloyd had 22 snaps, Stevie Johnson had 19 snaps, and Vance McDonald had 17 snaps. Oh, and third tight end Derek Carrier had no offensive snaps. The 49ers mixed in some extra guars for heavy formations, but we saw a lot less of that on Sunday.
The folks at NFLGSIS.com have some interesting information I thought I'd share. They run through lineup details, figuring out every lineup combination, and then assessing how much they were together during the game, and the result of their plays. Unfortunately, they do it on a cumulative basis, so rather than have a page for each game, they will have just update the combinations in total. Here is what it looked like for the offense in Week 1:
I'm going to try and track the lineup combinations in terms of how many plays they have, but I will not be able to break down average gain for each lineup combination. This might not work out, but hopefully I'll at least be able to break it out each week. We'll see.
As it stands, the 49ers most used formation in Week 1 was a 3-WR set with Michael Crabtree, Anquan Boldin, and Brandon Lloyd. The 49ers used that 10 times in their 58 offensive plays. The second most used set saw Lloyd replaced by Bruce Miller in a 2-WR set for nine plays. The third most used set saw Lloyd replaced by Johnson in another 3-WR set. It is worth noting plays nullified by penalty are excluded.