Kyle Shanahan unveiled his dual quarterback offense last night against the Raiders, and after two drives that ended in touchdowns, both signal-callers were all smiles after the game.
“It’s fun. I trust coach Shanahan and I know Jimmy does and our whole team and locker room does. He’s going to find ways to get the guys that need the ball, the ball and do whatever it takes to win games. So yeah, it was a ton of fun for sure. It was good to get into a rhythm. And obviously those drives when we were going back and forth, it ended up with Jimmy scoring that first touchdown was a lot of fun.”
Jimmy Garoppolo also used the word fun to describe the offense, but he also said something a lot more important — the quarterback rotation confused the Raiders defense:
“Oh yeah. Yeah. You definitely feel it. I think even with me and [QB] Trey [Lance] running on and off, the tempo was still pretty good. So there was a couple of times getting to the line where they’re still making calls and things like that. And you can tell it’s tough on them. So that’s what we’re trying to do.”
Kyle played it coy after the game as far as how much the two players will rotate in and out once the regular season begins, but everything went according to plan for San Francisco in the smallest of sample sizes.
All told the two drives that included rotation combined for 24 plays, 143 yards, two touchdowns, and 12:01 of the first quarter. Combine that with just eight plays for the Raiders in that time frame, and you end up with a big lead, tired opposing defenders, and a fresh defense of your own.
In other words, exactly how this team is built to win games. Time will tell how much Kyle will use this strategy once the games start to count and how defenses will adjust after they’ve seen it for a while. Nonetheless, for one night, things couldn’t have worked out better for the 49ers.