The San Francisco 49ers host the New York Jets on Sunday, and they face a run defense that has actually been pretty good. Football Outsiders ranks the Jets run defense No. 2 (as compared to No. 32 pass defense), and giving up the second best yards per attempt (3.5), behind the Ravens impressive run defense.
I am guessing part of this is because teams are more inclined to pass against them, but it still presents a unique challenge to an inconsistent 49ers offense. Colin Kaepernick will need to rebound from his atrocious outing in Chicago, but the team will also look for Carlos Hyde to help carry the ground game.
Hyde had 92 yards in Week 13, thanks in part to a heavy first-half workload. He finished the game with 92 yards, and currently has 686 on the season. He needs 314 more yards to reach 1,000 yards. Prior to Gore, the last 49ers running back to surpass 1,000 yards was Kevan Barlow in 2003 (1,024). Hyde needs to average 78.5 yards per game the final four games to reach the mark.
Earlier this week, Hyde talked about the Bears game and what he is trying to get done to close out the season. Here’s what he had to say.
On all the first half work in Chicago conditions:
That was a lot of fun. I wasn’t expecting to get the ball that many times. I looked up, saw I had 17 carries, 74 yards, I was excited. Had a big smile on my face in that first half. They started scoring points and we needed to get on the board, other than kicking field goals. We needed to get touchdowns to stay in the game. They kept scoring points and we weren’t able to put any points on the board, other than field goals. It took away from the running game, so we had to put the ball in the air.
On adjusting to running in the snow:
Nah, the only thing I did differently was just take off my gloves. When I had my gloves on, I couldn’t feel the ball all the way, so I took those off to get a better grip on the ball. That’s the only adjustment I made.
On the cold and keeping warm:
I kept putting them in the hand warmer, and every time I went to the sideline, I put a coat on. It was cold. Second half, it got real cold, but it was fun though.
On chance at 1,000 yards:
I mean, it’s huge. Beginning of the year my goal was to get 1,500. It’s not looking like I’ll be able to hit that, but it’s definitely possible to hit 1,000 yards this year. I think if I stay on the pace that I’m on now, I think that I can hit it. And, that’s huge. The last time we had a 1,000-yard rusher was Frank, and so, for me to get it, it’d be big. Not just for me, but for the offensive line, also.
On talking to Gore as he moves up all-time list:
I sent him a text telling him congratulations, but I haven’t talked to him much though. But I definitely sent him a text telling him congrats.
On what they want to accomplish to build momentum for the offseason:
Four wins. We get four wins, it’s better than having one. Going to the offseason with some wins behind us. Focus on that, focus on where we can get better at, where I can get better at at running back. Get a thousand yards and get some wins.
On feelings about Chip Kelly before he met him and if he was surprised by him:
No, just open-minded, new head coach. Lot of people are gonna say bad things about you or good things about you. That’s somebody’s opinion. To me, Coach Kelly’s a great guy. He’s been the same guy since he came here, since day one. He hasn’t changed, even though we’ve been losing. He’s been the same good coach. To me, I love Coach Kelly. He’s been positive all year for us. For me, it’s been fun playing for him.
On if he yells:
He does yell, if you mess up. I mean, any coach will yell if you mess up. I’ll yell if I was the coach and the player messed up, too. But yea, other than, you don’t really hear him yelling at all. And it has to be something where someone really messed up big. Not something small. But you don’t really hear him yelling.
On what it’s been like running behind this line:
I feel like the line has gotten better. And with that, I feel like I’ve gotten better, with getting patient, bringing the defenders to the line, letting them get up to the linebackers, and getting on to the linebackers so I can make a cut and hit a seam that they created for me. So, I think they’ve gotten a lot better this year. We still got some work to do, I got work to do, I mean the whole team’s got work to do. But as long as we keep improving each week, then we’ll be alright.