The 49ers had a formula for most of the year, and most of the year it worked.
Generally, it involved running the ball, rather than relying on quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to carry them.
Sunday, a slow start necessitated a change. Their 34 rushing yards marked a season-low by far, as they had only been held under 100 yards twice, and still average 149.0 yards per game — second only to the Ravens.
“That’s something we haven’t put him in this year,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said, via Jennifer Lee Chan of NBCSportsBayArea.com. “We had to there, we had no choice. He did a hell of a job. Really played unbelievable. I think that was the first time I consciously got away from it in the second half, just because it didn’t look like it was going well.”
Garoppolo completed 34-of-45 passes for 424 yards and four touchdowns, with two interceptions. He had to throw it 46 times last week against the Seahawks, but had thrown it 33 times or fewer in seven of his first eight games.
“I think we all felt the same way throughout the game,” Garoppolo said. “Some things were working and some things weren’t. Every game is different. Some games we’ve rushed for 200-plus yards and we pass less yards. So, just how our team is built, it doesn’t matter which way we have to win it, we will find a way and that’s what you like to see.”
Having their quarterback participate in this way would certainly help.