As the 49ers prepare to take on the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday night, one glaring statistic stands out in the 49ers' favor. The Chargers' defense currently allows 5.7 yards per carry this season, which ranks dead last in the league.
However, there’s more. Not only is it the worst in the league this season, but if that number of 5.7 yards per carry allowed held over the course of an entire season, it would be the second worst in the history of the National Football League.
Right now, this Chargers defense would have a hard time stopping a nosebleed, and now they get the not so envious task of attempting to slow down a dynamic rushing attack spearheaded by two All-Pros in Christian McCaffrey and Deebo Samuel.
The Chargers have allowed three of their last four opponents to eclipse 200 yards on the ground and the only time this season they have held a team under 90 rushing yards was their week one win over the Raiders.
Adding to their already daunting task is the fact that they have to face a Kyle Shanahan offense that is coming out of the bye week, something that has historically been a nightmare for opposing teams trying to contain the 49ers' ground game during Shanahan’s tenure with the team.
The 49ers' offense is averaging 144 rushing yards per game coming out of the bye since Shanahan took over in 2017, surpassing 100 yards in four of those five games.
The lone game the 49ers did not eclipse 100 rushing yards out of the bye under Shanahan was their week 12 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in 2017, where they were held to 84 rushing yards in a loss that dropped them to 1-10 on the season, which I mention as a reminder that the team was flat out awful at that point in the season and not reflective of the overall trend Shanahan has recorded coming out of the bye.
Right now, there is a perfect storm brewing in Santa Clara. A historically bad run defense, arguably the league's best run designer who has had an extra week to prepare for this matchup, and a bevy of skill position players that make even the most elite of defenses rip their hair out in frustration trying to figure out a way to contain them.