SANTA CLARA — The 49ers dominating run game was the key to keeping the Browns defense off balance, and San Francisco ran away with a 31-3 rout on Monday night.
It started on the first play from scrimmage with an 83-yard touchdown run by Matt Breida. According to NextGenStats, the third-year undrafted free agent reached a speed of 22.3 miles per hour which is the fastest speed recorded by a ball carrier since 2018.
It didn’t stop there. Breida finished the evening with 11 carries for 114 yards and a touchdown, as well as three receptions for 15 yards and a touchdown. Breida described what was working in the run game for the offense.
“Everything,” Breida said. “I thought we could run the ball on every play on them. Again, a big shout out to the offensive line, the receivers, the quarterbacks, everyone was doing their job today. It is a team game.”
Tevin Coleman’s first game back since suffering an ankle injury in Week 1 was nearly as productive as his Breida’s. Coleman came three yards shy from hitting the 100-yard mark as well, carrying the ball 16 times for 97 yards.
The 49ers tallied 275 yards on the ground, surpassing their Week 2 total of 259 yards against the Bengals. Coach Kyle Shanahan spoke about how the team was able to be so successful on the ground.
“It helps when you get explosives,” Shanahan said. “The first play to start that out, to get 80 right there is obviously a big lift and helps your stats when you get that. Some of the looks we did, I thought we blocked hard. We played very physical and it seems like the backs all hit the right hole.”
The competition in the running backs room is stiff but the group is very close knit which is part of the reason why they have excelled. Both Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson have made sizable contributions on the field when called upon.
“We always push each other to get better,” Breida said. “We’re not worried about how many carries we get or stats or anything like that. We just want to win at the end of the day.
“We all want to get to the end goal. You can’t be selfish, football is a team sport. The minute you do that is the minute you lose everybody and you start losing.”
Breida spoke about his heightened confidence being in Shanahan’s system.
“It is just being in the offense for three years,” Breida said. “We had a young team when I first came here. We had a lot of rookies and guys are understanding the offense better now, and I feel like everyone has gotten better.”
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While the 49ers offense was difficult for the Browns to stop in the first three quarters, the fourth quarter was less productive. Breida is aware that there is a lot for the team to work on before they head to Los Angeles to meet their division rival Rams in Week 6, but still is confident in the team’s group of running backs.
“We have a great backfield,” Breida said. "I feel we have one of the best in the league. As long as we stay healthy, we are going to do what we do.”