49ers top play No. 4
The 49ers’ No. 4 play of 2018 deserves its place near the top of our list because it embodies the concept of teamwork, and demonstrates what can be accomplished when you combine elite athletic ability with selfless effort from the athlete’s teammates.
As San Francisco neared the fourth quarter of their matchup with the Detroit Lions in Week 2, this play proved to be the turning point in the 49ers’ first win of 2018.
As the NFL’s current fastest player, running back Matt Breida‘s greatest asset is his blazing speed, but the runner lacked patience at times as a rookie, which he worked to improve over the 2018 offseason. His dedication to this area of his game was evident, as his patience — both at the beginning and the end of the run — combined with the burst that quickly thrust him from the San Francisco backfield into the Detroit secondary, made this play a success.
The 49ers’ offensive line wasn’t perfect on the run, but McGlinchey’s ability to get to the second level enabled Breida to hit the hole at full speed, which made left guard Laken Tomlinson‘s missed block a non-factor.
As Breida cut back inside, he found a willing blocker in Garcon, who engaged Lions cornerback Nevin Lawson at Detroit’s 40-yard line. Brieda patiently waited behind Garcon, who escorted both the Lions’ defender and the 49ers’ running back into the end zone.
But Garcon wasn’t the only Niner looking for work 60 yards downfield. Pettis was also searching for a defender to block, and both McGlinchey and fellow lineman Michael Person were in hot pursuit on the play: