49ers Film Review: How the offense got into rhythm

The 49ers offense was hitting on all cylinders against Arizona on Monday night. Big play after big play led to San Francisco hanging 38 points on the Cardinals defense.

In this week’s film review we’ll look at how one play led to another for a couple of big touchdowns, a few explosive plays, and a look at Trent Williams.

One play leads to another

First Quarter

Third and Five, 49ers 23

Kyle Shanahan empties the backfield. Arizona sends five and the 49ers protection doesn’t account for it. Cardinals defensive lineman Zach Allen gets to Garoppolo, but even with Allen in his face the quarterback hits George Kittle on a quick out for a gain of six to move the chains.

This is a good play by Garoppolo, and left guard Aaron Banks deserves to be pointed out as well.

Banks gets left to block two defenders. He gives Allen a shot before taking out the inside rusher. The punch on Allen is provides Garoppolo just enough time to get the ball out and extend the drive.

Third and Goal, Cardinals 7

On third down early in the second quarter Kyle Shanahan goes to one of his redzone staples.

To the right-side George Kittle runs a corner with Christian McCaffrey running a Texas route underneath.

Jimmy Garoppolo starts off reading this combination first. Kittle is well covered, and the Cardinals linebacker sits inside taking away McCaffrey.

On the left side, Jauan Jennings is running a corner which keeps the safeties deep, and Deebo Samuel runs a quick slant pulling the man covering him inside.

Brandon Aiyuk runs a return route into the void created by Jennings and Samuel. Garoppolo whips his head and body to the left side and fires a dart to Aiyuk for the touchdown.

Terrific play design by Shanahan and execution by the players.

Second and eleven, Cardinals 44

Two plays after DeAndre Hopkins is called for taunting, the 49ers defense makes the Cardinals pay.

After a play fake, Colt McCoy tries to check the ball down to James Connor. The pass deflects off the running backs hand and Jimmie Ward is there to get his first interception of the season.

Third and three, Cardinals 39

Three plays after Ward’s interception the 49ers hit paydirt.

Kyle Shanahan goes with an empty set and Arizona puts pressure on Jimmy Garoppolo. Feeling the rush from his left, Garoppolo steps up and through the pocket. Keeping his eyes downfield Garoppolo sees George Kittle behind the Cardinals defense and lofts a pass to the tight end who makes two defenders miss on his way to the endzone.

This marks the third week in a row in which Garoppolo has made a big play off schedule.


Big plays

First and ten, Cardinals 39

Deebo Samuel takes an end around to left side in for a touchdown. Keep your eyes on Jake Brendel. The 49ers center paves the way for Samuel by putting Budda Baker on the ground 34 yards downfield.

If this play looks familiar, it should. San Francisco used the same play to score their first touchdown in week 17 of 2019 against Seattle.

Second and seven, Cardinals 32

The 49ers line up in 22-personnel. This is a heavy run look, and the Cardinals bite on the outside zone play fake. Garoppolo gets the ball out quickly to George Kittle who rumbles into the endzone for the Niners fifth touchdown of the game.

One additional note, look at the stance of Trent Williams. Williams is in a balanced stance which should mean a run is coming. More on that below.

Missed opportunities

Jimmy Garoppolo was terrific on Monday night. That being said, he still left a couple of big plays on the table.

Second quarter, First and ten, Cardinals 49

Kyle Shanahan dials up a shot play off play action out of 22-personnel which as was mentioned earlier is a run heavy look. Jimmy Garoppolo has Brandon Aiyuk open down the left side for a touchdown. Instead, he checks the ball down to Christian McCaffrey for a gain of 14.

Two plays later it is second and six from the Cardinals 31. Garoppolo chooses to work the left side of the field. The number two defender stays with Kyle Juszczyk opening the hole for Samuel, but the throw from Garoppolo is high.

Had Garoppolo chosen to work the other side of the field he would have seen Tyler Kroft open for a hole shot and a big gain.

Neither of these are bad plays, but they are missed touchdown opportunities which led to settling for a field goal.

Trent Williams

We already looked at one play in which the stance of Trent Williams did not give away the play.

Here’s another.

Williams has his left foot back in the stance which should be showing a pass is coming. Instead, it is a toss to the left and Christian McCaffrey takes it for a gain of 20. In fact, it’s a block from Williams that paves the way.

The discussion of play tipping should be put to bed.

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