We’re past the midseason mark and still have some football left. It’s time to look at all the 49ers units and discuss what we like and don’t like out of them for 2018.
Everyone knew when Jerick McKinnon tore his ACL that the 49ers’ running backs took a hit. McKinnon signed a nice deal in free agency and was looked at as the ‘the guy’ with Matt Breida coming in as a sidekick. What happened was Breida has become the guy and now a duo of McKinnon and Breida has fans drooling for 2019.
The 49ers running backs—and running game by extension—are competing with the offensive line as most improved unit in 2018. The fact both are productive because of the other is not a coincidence.
And Kyle Shanahan looks like he can do no wrong with running backs. McKinnon, Breida, down? Call in Raheem Mostert. Sure Joe Williams didn’t pan out, but remember, Shanahan has a UDFA in Breida gashing defenses.
And let’s not forget Kyle Juszczyk, a player who has spelled the running backs now with the frequent injuries to Brieda and the season ending injury to Mostert. Beyond fullback, he’s also the emergency quarterback. So there’s that.
Speaking of Mostert, he even was coming into his own until an unfortunate broken forearm. At first after his series of fumbles, many (including myself) were about to write him off as a scab running back. Instead, Mostert developed into a solid third running back, sometimes even outplaying the second running back, Alfred Morris.
Breida currently sits with 642 yards of the teams 1,336 total yards rushing. As a whole the 49ers sit at third in total rushing yards and tenth in yards per carry. Once McKinnon gets back, the sky’s the limit and some difficult decisions will have to be made. This year, the backfield was a question mark with McKinnon’s injury and yet it is one of the stronger units on the squad. Just think of what they would be like full strength.
What are your impressions of the running backs at midseason?