Check out my video breakdown of the 49ers’ and Saints’ run games in the red zone.
Here are the Cliff’s Notes:
The 49ers run game struggles especially inside the opponent’s 12-yard line, because it lacks creativity and diversity.
- The 49ers never ran the ball with six offensive linemen on the field in the red zone last season, while the Saints ran the ball with six offensive linemen on the field 17 times in the red zone. The 49ers should use Joshua Garnett as their sixth offensive lineman next season.
- Inside the opponent’s 12-yard line, the only run play the 49ers called more than once was inside zone. They need a second run play they can use consistently in the low red zone. The Saints use a G Lead, in which they pull the front-side guard. The 49ers should use this, too.
- The 49ers gained just eight yards total on shotgun runs in the redzone, while the Saints gained 94 yards on 26 shotgun runs in the red zone, because the Saints had a special red-zone read-option package featuring Taysom Hill and the 49ers didn’t. Next season, the 49ers can use Jerick McKinnon the way the Saints use Hill, because McKinnon played quarterback in high school.
- The 49ers could use a few new trick run plays for the red zone, because those often produce touchdowns. The Saints have some of the most clever trick plays in the NFL. I break down the 49ers can steal in the video above.