In my latest video breakdown, I focused on Kyle Shanahan’s play action usage, which has slowly climbed in past years. In week 3 against the Steelers, Shanahan knew they were going to blitz heavily. The steelers had the 4th highest % of DB blitzes in 2018 (14%) while also having the 4th most blitzes. The Steelers brought 5 or pass rushers on 20 of the 49ers 32 pass attempts. This played right into the 49ers play-action pass-heavy attack, they are 1st in the NFL in play-action usage, with 40%. Against the steelers, they utilized play action 45% of their plays, which was the third highest in one game for any team in 2019. They knew the Steelers were bringing the blitz, and what works best for blitz? Play action. The offense averages 12 yards per attempt with play-action versus 6.8 without.
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