It was a heck of a performance for San Francisco 49ers running back Matt Breida in Week 2 against the Detroit Lions. He only rushed 11 times, but he finished the game with 138 rushing yards, and another 21 receiving yards.
The highlight of the day came on his 66-yard touchdown run. It was a basic stretch play to the right, but once he got past the defensive line and linebackers, a cut-back to the left brought him behind wide receiver Pierre Garçon. The 49ers receiver got a block on Lions cornerback Nevin Lawson, and effectively blocked him for 40 yards until Breida reached the end zone.
We’ll have more on what Garçon had to say about the block, but props to Breida for showing patience to let that develop and get to the end zone.
WOW. 67-yard TD run for Matt Breida! pic.twitter.com/JbcljHJdbl— Akash Anavarathan (@akashanav) September 16, 2018
Breida had a strong game beyond just the touchdown run. If you remove that run, he still averaged 7.2 yards per carry. It was a strong enough performance that he is currently the leading rusher across the league with 184 yards. Chicago Bears running back Jordan Howard currently has 82 yards, so a 103 yards against the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football would give him the lead.
Even with that strong performance, the 49ers stuck with their running back platoon. Morris had three more carries on the afternoon than Breida. Breida ran in his touchdown with 52 seconds left in the third quarter. Over the final quarter, Alfred Morris had seven carries and Breida had one carry and one target (the interception that was called back due to defensive holding).
It seems unlikely we’ll see a change anytime soon. Breida made a solid contribution in Week 1, with 46 yards at a 4.2 ypc clip. The 49ers face a trash Chiefs defense this weekend, but they also could find themselves in a shootout if they struggle to contain Patrick Mahomes. I have to think the 49ers will work to control the time of possession and keep the Chiefs offense off the field. The split will probably continue, but will we at some point see Breida emerge as the go-to guy?