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49ers-Panthers: Looking at Carlos Hyde’s 3 best runs in Week 1

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Hyde looked good running the football, though the 49ers did abandon the run later in the game.

NFL: Carolina Panthers at San Francisco 49ers Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday, we looked at the sacks allowed by the San Francisco 49ers offensive line up against the Carolina Panthers and today, we’re going to look at some of their best run blocking. More accurately, we’re going to check on Carlos Hyde’s three biggest runs against the Panthers and break them down with gifs.

Interestingly, his three most productive runs were all on first down, all early in drives and all in the first quarter. The 49ers did sort of abandon the run when they fell behind on the Panthers, and that’s something that Kyle Shanahan will need to strike a better balance with as he grows in his role as head coach.

Hyde looked good running the ball, but finished the game with just nine carries for 45 yards. He also caught six passes for 32 yards. I’d like to see him get more carries overall. I don’t see the point in giving Matt Breida four carries when Hyde only has nine on the day. Change of pace isn’t a thing when you haven’t even applied a pace.

Onto the gifs!

11:03 of 1st Quarter, 1st and 15 from SF 25: Hyde left tackle to SF 33 for 8 yards (Luke Kuechly)

This is just good play design by the 49ers, and perhaps a bad look overall by the Panthers defense. It’s simple misdirection, with the line splitting primarily to the center and right while Hyde is cutting back to the left, where a gaping hole is created by the strong blocking from left tackle Joe Staley and the excellent seal created by fullback Kyle Juszczyk.

Both Trent Brown and Brandon Fusco go to the ground on the play but hey, they got the job done. The worst player on this play was center Daniel Kilgore, who took far too long to engage his man, who just happens to be Luke Kuechly. If Kilgore gets to him faster, this play goes for another four yards, easily.

6:04 of 1st Quarter, 1st and 10 from SF 24: Hyde up the middle to SF 36 for 12 yards (Mike Adams)

This play initially shows a run to the left, but a massive pile of human-shaped meat stands in Hyde’s way (by design), so he cuts to the right, in the small gap created by a heroic effort from tight end Garrett Celek.

The hole is created naturally by the surge of humanity on the left side, but ultimately, Fusco and Celek did the blocking that mattered on the play. On the left side, nobody got blown up enough to threaten the play forming on the right side, so that’s good. Hyde made himself very small getting through that hole and much more.

3:00 of 1st Quarter, 1st and 10 from SF 25: Hyde left end to SF 43 for 18 yards (Kurt Coleman)

Lo and behold: a strong play from left guard Zane Beadles. He gets to the next level and trusts that Juszczyk is going to come out and lead the way for Hyde, so he leaves that man unblocked and hits his next target. Staley has sealed off the edge without issue and Fusco does enough to stagger Kawann Short, who was the next likely to get a hold of Hyde.

You can even give props to Marquise Goodwin, who takes his time getting to the man he’s supposed to block, arriving at just the right time. Really, I think Brown is the worst player on the play because he’s slowing down before Hyde has actually passed him. I don’t think he would have got to Kurt Coleman, the safety, in time, but it would have been nice to see him show a little more hustle.