Film Room: Analyzing 49ers Offense in Win Over Rams

Levi's Stadium. Photo by Travis Wise (CC BY 2.0)

After a rough start to the season, the San Francisco 49ers earned a much-needed victory over the division-rival Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.

San Francisco didn’t put up the type of stellar offensive showing often synonymous with Kyle Shanahan, but the fourth-year head coach’s team found a way to do enough and get to .500 with the win.

Here’s some key offensive plays for San Francisco in the victory:

Bunch formation leads to touchdown

Shanahan is a renowned offensive mind, and he certainly knows how to use formations to create optimal situations against defenses.

Here, the 49ers use a bunch formation at the goal line, taking advantage of the short field to create havoc for the Rams defense.

Two defenders chase Kendrick Bourne, allowing fellow receiver Brandon Aiyuk to find space on a hitch route. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo hits him, and it’s all too easy.

Creative play for Deebo

Sometimes plays don’t get a huge result, but they’re still very well drawn-up.

On this play, electric receiver Deebo Samuel motions to the backfield, coupling with the play-action to really sell the run to Los Angeles’ defenders.

Samuel then goes the opposite way, catching the pass for a screen. He doesn’t produce yardage, but it’s a vintage Shanahan look that favors motion and diversion over simplicity and power.

Hasty makes a nice cutback

Late in the game, as the 49ers looked to seal the win, running back Jamycal Hasty made a big move that produced good yardage.

On first-and-10, Hasty takes the pitch from Garoppolo and goes to the right, the direction the offensive line and a fullback are zone-blocking.

But he sees the space for a cutback and takes it, slowing down the Rams crashing defense and recording a big first-down play.

Deebo shows why he’s a weapon

Another late-game play helped exemplify why Samuel is such a valued player for the 49ers.

He takes the quick pass and uses his speed and quick cutting ability to cruise past defenders and gain more than enough yardage for the first down.

Samuel is so effective because he can do it all; he can both catch and run the football, blending a unique array of talents in order to fly past defenders or power right into them. Either way, he’s a sure bet to pick up needed yards and score some touchdowns along the way.

The 49ers missed his production recently, as Samuel has already been sidelined by injuries this season. But this is just one example of what he can do when healthy and in the game.


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