After failing to get things off to a fast start in the first half, the San Francisco 49ers seem to thrive in their two minute drills. What is it about the uptempo offense that propels the team forward? Is it a renewed sense of urgency? The players have even made comments about needing to not wait until the fourth quarter or a large deficit to get the ball rolling.
In Washington, the 49ers punted on their first five drives. They were only able to manage one first down in the first quarter and 11 yards. In the second quarter the offense only mustered three first downs and 52 yards before the two minute drill. Once the clock hit 1:51, they kicked it into high gear and put together a 11 play 75 yard drive that included six first downs.
Here’s what Carlos Hyde said about the two minute drill:
I think the sense of urgency got us more urgent getting to the ball, running our routes, quarterbacks, hitting guys on time. I think it’s that sense of urgency. If we’d had that sense of urgency throughout the game, then maybe it would’ve had a different outcome.
I also aske Kyle Shanahan about why it seems so effective.
I’m not sure. Sometimes it depends on the coverages they are playing. I mean, guys made a couple of plays there. I don’t think it’s been like that every time. But today guys got into a little bit of rhythm – made a couple of explosives on the off-schedule plays. Today looked good for the guys.
This wasn't the first time that the game seemed to lack an ability to move the ball until their backs were against the wall.
Hyde was also asked about the slow start after the loss to the Colts:
We were just able to hit explosive plays late in the game. I think we were able to hit those explosive plays at the end of the game to put ourselves in a position to win the game. Not wait until the last minute of the game to hit explosive (plays) down the field - do it early.
Pierre Garçon also has mentioned the team needing to not wait until the fourth quarter multiple times after the loss in Indianapolis, but they seem to not be able to get things rolling until the pressure is on. Brian Hoyer even said that the team should tell themselves that they are down 21-0 from the beginning. Hopefully they won’t wait until it’s too late for the remainder of the season.