While the San Francisco 49ers may have struggled and looked out of sync in the first half on Monday night against the Atlanta Falcons, the second half proved to be anything but. A large reason for the success of the 49ers’ offense the rushing attack. During that second half, the 49ers showed why they are one of the best rushing attacks in the league as they were able to pound the Falcons’ defense into submission on the ground.
It all begins with one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. The return of Mike Iupati to the starting lineup made a difference as his presence allowed the 49ers to have consistency in the running game. The fine play of the offensive line allowed the team to finish the game with 3o carries for 199 yards, with a 6.6 YPC average and two rushing touchdowns.
Then there is the play of the always reliable Frank Gore. On Monday night, Gore had 21 carries for 97 yards and one touchdown. He once again showed why he was one of the best running backs in the league as he allowed his offensive line to open up holes for him to run through and pick up 5-6 yards on a run instead of 2-3.
Gore was feeling it so much on Monday night that on his touchdown run, he told Colin Kaepernick to change the play he was given and to just give him the ball. Needless to say, it worked out well.
He also had very good support from others in rushing with the football. Kaepernick finished with 51 rushing yards and proved to be a threat each time he decided to tuck and run. In addition, Kendall Hunter finally looked fully in rhythm after more than a year since his Achilles injury. He had a big 45-yard run that helped set up the touchdown which gave the 49ers a 27-17 lead at the time.
On Monday night, the 49ers once again proved to be able to beat teams down by rushing the football whenever it wanted on any down.