SANTA CLARA – There are not too many NFL teams that use a steady diet of two backs and two tight ends. The 49ers do it with a purpose.

That purpose?

“Run it through their throats,” 49ers tight end George Kittle said. “That’s what we’re going to do. And I love that. It’s awesome.”

Kittle played all 79 offensive snaps Sunday in the 49ers’ 24-20 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers at Levi’s Stadium. Reserve tight ends Levine Toilolo and Ross Dwelley played 10 and two snaps, respectively.

The run-heavy look is all about setting a tone. Fullback Kyle Juszczyk was on the field for 50 of the team’s plays, paired with halfbacks Matt Breia, Raheem Mostert or short-yardage back Jeff Wilson.

“When 22 personnel (two backs, two tight ends) is out there, there is only so much you can do so a lot of teams already expect down hill running,” Toilolo said. “It’s just a mindset. All 11 guys including Jimmy (Garoppolo) and the receiver who’s out there, they know what we’re going to do, we know what we’re going to do and it’s really just lining up and seeing who can execute better.

“When you can get into that 22 personnel and run the rock and move the ball, it can change a game. It kind of feels different.”

The 49ers ran the ball 40 times for 168 yards on Sunday. Things kept on moving even when right tackle Mike McGlinchey had to leave the field for two plays in the fourth quarter when his shoe fell off. Backup tackle Daniel Brunskill entered the game, and the 49ers ran behind him on consecutive plays in which Mostert gained 19 and 6 yards.

 

“We had Brunskill come in for two plays and ran the same play back-to-back, and me and him worked well together,” Kittle said. “That’s our run game. We’re going to try to run through your throats and run through face, and, hey, if you can stop it, try -- try your best shot.”

Here is a look at how much everyone on the 49ers played Sunday on offense, defense and special teams:

Offense

Total offensive snaps: 79
Quarterback – Jimmy Garoppolo 79
Running back – Kyle Juszczyk 50, Raheem Mostert 24, Matt Breida 32, Jeff Wilson 21
Wide receiver – Marquise Goodwin 53, Deebo Samuel 41, Dante Pettis 33, Richie James 28, Kendrick Bourne 22
Tight end – George Kittle 79, Levine Toilolo 10, Ross Dwelley 2
Offensive line – Weston Richburg 79, Laken Tomlinson 79, Mike Person 79, Justin Skule 79, Mike McGlinchey 77, Daniel Brunskill 2
Did not play – Nick Mullens, Ben Garland

Defense

Total defensive snaps: 53
Defensive line – DeForest Buckner 47, Arik Armstead 41, Nick Bosa 39, D.J. Jones 25, Ronald Blair 21, Dee Ford 16, Sheldon Day 12, Solomon Thomas 11
Linebacker – Fred Warner 53, Kwon Alexander 52, Dre Greenlaw 10
Defensive back – Tarvarius Moore 53, Jaquiski Tartt 53, Richard Sherman 53, K’Waun Williams 43, Ahkello Witherspoon 43, Emmanuel Moseley 7, Jason Verrett 4

Special teams

Total special teams plays: 31
Moseley 22, Antone Exum 21, Mark Nzeocha 21, Greenlaw 21, Azeez Al-Shaair 18, Dwelley 17, Mitch Wishnowsky 12, D.J. Reed 11, Moore 11, James 11, Mostert 11, Armstead 10, Buckner 10, Verrett 10, Bourne 9, Wilson 9, Jones 8, Toilolo 8, Jon Condo 7, Witherspoon 5, Robbie Gould 4, Person 4, Richburg 4, Tomlinson 4, Skule 4, McGlinchey 4, Thomas 4, Juszczyk 3, Breida 3, Bosa 2, Alexander 2, Ford 2, Warner 2, Williams 2, Sherman 1

Not active

QB C.J. Beathard
RB Tevin Coleman (ankle)
WR Jalen Hurd (back)
DB Jimmie Ward (finger)
OT Joe Staley (fibula)
OT Sam Young
DT Jullian Taylor