49ers Film Review: Explosive plays continue to fuel San Francisco offense

The addition of Christian McCaffrey at the trade deadline and strong play from Brock Purdy has opened up the 49ers offense. After managing at least 30 points only three times over its first eleven games, San Francisco has now scored over 30 in four of its last five.

The Niners offense generated several explosive plays throughout their thrilling 37-34 win over Las Vegas on Sunday.

First Quarter: Third and three, Raiders 38

As is often the case, San Francisco is in 11 personnel (one back, one tight end) on third down. The Raiders show pressure, and in doing so help create an explosive run for San Francisco.

The 49ers run power with left guard Aaron Banks pulling to kick out the defensive end. Playing man coverage with their linebackers in close the Raiders defenders are not able to get to the hole and Christian McCaffrey is untouched until being taken down by the free safety after a gain of 37.

Third Quarter: First and ten, Raiders 30

Kyle Shanahan dials up an end around for Brandon Aiyuk. This is the same play the 49ers ran for a touchdown against Arizona earlier this year and against Seattle in 2019 with Deebo Samuel.

The backfield action starts as a run to the left, Kyle Juszczyk starts that way before spinning around to help lead Aiyuk up the field. With a convoy of blockers ahead of him the wide receiver picks up 16 yards.

Third Quarter: First and ten, Raiders 14

On the next play San Francisco runs power lead around the left side. Christian McCaffrey does a good job of following Kyle Juszczyk round the corner. Tyler Kroft and Mike McGlinchey help seal the edge and Jauan Jennings has a nice block downfield to give McCaffrey a lane to score from 14 yards out.

Third Quarter: First and fifteen, 49ers 22

Brandon Aiyuk runs deep taking the cornerback and safety with him. This creates a void in the defense and Brock Purdy zips the ball to Jauan Jennings running a deep dig from the other side of the formation for a gain of 28 yards.

Fourth Quarter: First and ten, 49ers 35

Ray-Ray McCloud motions across the formation into the slot on the left. The motion draws Raiders defensive end Clelin Ferrell with him.

At the snap Brock Purdy runs a play fake to the right. This action draws Ferrell inside, taking him out of the play.

Purdy wheels and throws a screen to McCloud who follows Trent Williams past the first defender on the way to a 42-yard gain.

Fantastic play design and execution all around.

Fourth quarter: Second and ten, 49ers 23

With the score tied at 27 late in the fourth quarter, Purdy shows what he is made of.

Las Vegas sends a five-man pressure. Purdy stands in, delivering a strike to Brandon Aiyuk on a slant for a gain of 23 yards.

Solid protection up front and a nice throw into a tight window.

Fourth quarter: Second and ten, 49ers 48

Two plays later the Raiders again send pressure. This time the sixth man comes through untouched giving him a free run at Purdy. The quarterback see’s this and gets the ball out quick to Christian McCaffrey.

Getting the ball sooner than expected, McCaffrey shows terrific patience to allow his lineman to get to their spots. McCaffrey’s patience pays off when Daniel Brunskill kicks out the oncoming defender, springing the running back who runs over defenders down the field for a gain of 38.

Jordan Mason takes it in from 14-yards out on the next play to give San Francisco a 34-27 lead.

Fourth quarter: First and ten, 49ers 37

Working out of a 3×1 set, Purdy chooses to go to the single receiver side. The quarterback keeps his eyes down the middle of the field to hold the linebacker and safety inside before ripping a slant to Brandon Aiyuk for a gain of 18.

This is a solid tight window throw and the eye discipline shown by Purdy is one of the primary reasons for his success over the last five weeks.

This article has 14 Comments

  1. Jack ,thank you for all you have done this past year. You have made this site an enjoyable place to visit,
    Looking forward to your coverage of the upcoming playoffs.

  2. Agree with Hack. Jack was always the best Cohn guest and has done a terrific job on this site.

  3. Jack
    Prior to Cohn leaving, I had given up on both the Press Democrat and the blog!
    IMO, you’re the reason the blog still exists and why I returned, keep up the good work.

  4. Great stuff Jack.

    One of the things I noticed was atrocious officiating in this game, especially on the lack of holding calls on the Raiders O-line. The first highlight (3rd & 3, Raiders 38) shows Aaron Banks pulling and the Raiders defender #58 going at Banks knees. It’s a cut block in the open field with a Ref staring straight at it. This is 100% a penalty but the Ref swallowed his whistle. You still need to throw that flag even if you know the penalty will be declined to prevent additional instances of that illegal behavior later in the game. The NFL supposedly is making a point to call illegal cut blocks by defenders on pulling lineman. All I want is consistency. This is an easy call to make to help protect O-lineman but this crew failed. Kind of makes you wonder if the accumulation of hits to Banks knees increased the risk of his MCL injury later in the game.

    Brock Purdy is so much more mobile than Jimmy G. It is amazing what a mobile guy can give an offense. Also, Purdy probably doesn’t have as quick a release as Jimmy G but it’s close. I really like his throwing motion even if he doesn’t have the biggest arm. Trey Lance has a gigantic loop in his throwing motion where he almost drops the ball to his hip and then brings it all the way around. Purdy and Jimmy G are almost like 2nd basement turning a double play – ball straight to the ear and then a quick release. Trey needs to clean up that throwing motion asap.

    1. Pat,
      The only way Lance is going to get better is to play and if Purdy looks good in the playoffs he may never get that chance with the 9ers. If Purdy excels in the playoffs do you think the 9ers should try and trade him?

      1. Earl Morrall
        Vince Ferragamo
        Jeff Hostetler
        TJ Yates
        Nick Foles
        Brock Purdy

        It’s good to have a good backup. NFL is littered with examples of guys playing above their weight class for a limited time frame. Let’s be excited Brock Purdy is a good backup and he’s only a rookie but let’s hold off on the anointing for now. Sure, they can have a camp competition but Trey Lance is the starter once he’s back and we should all be happy about the current QB situation. Don’t trade either one. No matter who starts next year, the 49ers will likely need both.

        1. I’m not anointing Purdy my question was predicated on Purdy looking good in the playoffs. Do you think there will really be a competition if Purdy wins the SB or the 9ers lose the SB or NFCCG with Purdy looking very good in defeat? Another question is will Lance be happy with being a back up QB for his entire 1st contract? I see Lance demanding a trade if he isn’t the starter next year. I’m also not sure whether Lance would be a good back up without further development which he will only get thru game action. Purdy didn’t develop thru his time leading the 49er scout team, he developed by starting 45 games in college. I would rather have a 1st round pick in this years draft than have a disgruntled #2 QB. Lastly the 49ers will have the cap room to sign a very good back up if they trade Lance. imho

          1. You aren’t anointing Purdy. Other people very much are ready to name him next years starter. To your questions about Lance. I think you’re getting way ahead of yourself. I am as encouraged as anyone about Purdy’s play. I don’t think the 49ers should trade either Purdy or Lance even if Purdy leads the team to a Superbowl win. Those men have contracts and I expect them to compete under their existing contracts. If one gets beat out over the other then they need to be men and act like Jimmy Garoppolo. JG led the team to the NFCCG last year and played hurt while competing and still handled the situation with professionalism, dignity and class. I expect Purdy and Lance to do the same.

        2. Unlike most of the QBs you listed above, Lance and Purdy will be under rookie contracts that gives the 49ers ample time without being financially hemed-in, to have an opportunity to win the Starter job in 2023.

          If Purdy wins out in TC, the 49ers would still be in position to allow Lance time to develop. Imho, any trade talk regarding Lance is premature.

          1. I hear you AES but IMHO Lance needs to be on the field to develop since he has never played a lot of games past high school.
            But at the same time, do you sit Purdy to develop Lance? That only happens if you have a bad team that is not going anywhere but the Niners is the opposite for anytime soon.
            Great problem to have though. :)

            1. ricardo,
              You are correct, Lance needs real playing time to develop. But, he could get that if Purdy goes down to injury like Garoppolo and of course, Lance did.
              If any of us would have been asked in September how we felt about Purdy being a starter this season, most likely would have laughed at that prospect.
              Next season, will take care of itself.

  5. I believe that Lance will force the issue by sitting out to force a trade. The big difference between Lance and JG is JG has already cashed in. If Lance has to play out his contract as the 9ers back up he may never get that one big contract. As to me getting ahead of myself, you are correct. This conversation should take place after the season is over and before the draft but I was bored.

    1. Old Coach, You are wrong about Lance holding out. No way does that fit his character, just watch and remember
      next year when that does NOT happen.

  6. 9r,
    Football is a business not a family. Holding out to best maximize your earning capabilities has nothing to do with character. If this was after his second contract then yes he might not hold out. This reminds me of a line from the book North Dallas 40, the player say to a front office employee. “Every time we call it a game you say its a business and when we call it a business you say no its a game. The only people who don’t think of it as a business is the fans.

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