No. 3: 49ers are having success running the football. They’ll need to continue to with the “ground and pound” mentality against a not-so-great rush defense.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way: The 49ers are 6-0 because of their run game. (Don’t worry, we’ll talk about the defense a bit later.)
Without the three-headed monster of running backs Matt Breida, Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman, this offence wouldn’t be able to score as many points as they are. Between the three of them, they’ve accumulated 887 yards. The Niners have 2,323 yards in total.
That’s roughly 40 percent of the offence running through Breida, Mostert and Coleman.
It’ll be important for head coach Kyle Shanahan to stick to the run game early and often against the Panthers. Carolina has given up 714 yards in six games. If you break it down, the Panthers give up about 119 yards on the ground per game. Breida alone averages close to 70 yards per game, including this run against the Cleveland Browns:
Breida and Coleman should have a field day with the 15th ranked run defence. Besides the Rams, the Panthers haven’t faced a prominent run-first mentality offence. The Luke Kuechly-led defense will certainly have its hands full. Breida averages over five yards a carry, while Carolina’s defense gives up close to five yards.