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Why Jordan Mason and the 49ers’ run game should have success this week

The Thursday Night showdown in Seattle is setting up for a big Jordan Mason game.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

Over the last few weeks, the 49ers have brought in Jordan Mason in the second halves of games to come be their “closer,” punishing opposing defenders late in the games with bruising runs to ice away contests.

Mason has slowly come along this season while making his impact on special teams for the majority of the year. In addition, his backfield workload has slowly increased, from 4 to 5 to 8 to 11 carries in the most recent outing versus Tampa Bay.

The increased workload hasn’t deterred his production, still averaging 5.3 yards per carry for the season. Since Week 12, Mason’s 5.5 yards per carry is third in the NFL among running backs, behind Miles Sanders and A.J. Dillon.

San Francisco’s rushing offense has really hit its stride with Christian McCaffrey and Jordan Mason these last few weeks. They’ve been able to use McCaffrey early in the games while closing with Mason, and it’s worked really well.

Here’s an example of Mason’s rushing ability and how his change of direction stresses defenses while having the ability to break tackles and break runs to the outside.

The challenge for Seattle’s run defense only gets harder with the 49ers coming into town on Thursday night. Without a couple of their starting defensive linemen, the Seahawks’ run defense has really fallen apart over the last five games.

Seattle has given up at least 122 rushing yards in five straight games while giving up two games of 200+ rushing yards over that span. Most recently, the Panthers lit up the Seahawks’ run defense for 223 yards on 46 carries — which meant that they were able to control the clock and the game.

In comes the best rushing attack the Seahawks have faced during this stretch with the 49ers. This is the perfect opportunity for Kyle Shanahan to lean on Mason and his young, fresh legs while allowing Christian McCaffrey to get a breather this week.

I predict a big Jordan Mason game this week.