For the third time in four games, the 49ers' offense scored at least 30 points. For the second game in a row, the defense allowed 10 points and had a turnover. The recipe for success has been laid out for San Francisco.
Here’s a look at the snap counts from Sunday’s game.
Offensive - 69 possible snaps
Rookie right tackle Jaylon Moore was benched after a couple of blips in pass protection. He allowed a QB hit on Jimmy Garoppolo’s touchdown pass to Brandon Aiyuk. There was another issue early in the game where there was a free rusher off the right side. Moore’s PFF grade in true pass sets was a 13.1. He later entered the game and would finish at left tackle in place of Trent Williams.
Moore is a rookie, and there will be mistakes. That’s inevitable. Let’s see if Kyle Shanahan sticks with him or moves forward with Compton. Honestly, I don’t mind going back and forth. Moore needs the reps, and you know Compton isn’t the future. If Moore is unplayable, then pull him.
The running back split saw Jeff Wilson Jr. see 58% of the snaps while Trey Sermon played 35%. Occasionally, both players were on the field together. Using 20 personnel (2 RB/3 WR/0 TE) is a growing movement in football. Of course, the 49ers have George Kittle, and you want him on the field as much as possible.
But, even if he’s in the slot, two true running backs on the field make it impossible for the defense to set their strength. Using both backs has helped the 49ers ground game in recent weeks. This remains true when Deebo Samuel is in the backfield. Shanahan is using the versatility on the roster to his advantage. It’s called “pony” personnel with two running backs in the game, and it’s a thing of beauty.
Jauan Jennings has locked up the WR3 spot. He played 48% of the snaps compared to Trent Sherfield’s 11 and Travis Benjamin’s one snap. I imagine a lot has to do with Jennings's size. He’s a physical blocker that can get in the way of linebackers and move safeties. If you do not believe the last line, ask Jaguars safety, Rashawn Jenkins.
San Francisco doesn’t need to rely on Jennings in the passing game, thanks to Samuel, Kittle, and Aiyuk.
That is two weeks in a row where Daniel Brunskill has been superb. If the only issue is a rookie Day 3 pick at right tackle along your offensive line, you’re doing a good job.
Defense - 46 possible snaps
If healthy, Jaquiski Tartt is the starter. That’s how it should be. He’s more under control than Talanoa Hufanga, can do more on the football field, is faster, and is the better tackler. You also trust Tartt to hold up in coverage at any level of the field more than Hufanga.
The rookie will start eventually, but the keys still belong to Tartt. Hufanga still played in “big dime” situations on obvious passing downs. He’s a key role player on defense.
The best part about blowouts is giving your stars rest. When Nick Bosa and Arik Armstead only play 35 and 34 snaps, it’s a good Sunday. Speaking of edge rushers, Samson Ebukam is starting to come along.
Remember, this is his first season playing defense end full-time. It was always going to take until the middle of the season for him to figure out how to play the position. Ebukam’s athleticism and effort make him a perfect fit for the defensive line.
San Francisco’s backup defensive line remains productive. Charles Omenihu played more snaps than Arden Key, Kentavius Street, and Jordan Willis. Kris Kocurek must be high on the newcomer. Key had his third sack of the season, which was the number he entered the season with.
With the game out of hand, Deommodore Lenoir and Ambry Thomas subbed in for the starters. Thomas played one more series, but it's good for their development even if it’s a handful of snaps here and there.