Loser: Running Back Tevin Coleman
One of the reasons why Jimmy Garoppolo threw so much on Sunday was due to the Cardinals taking away the Niners running game.
With running back Matt Breida out with an ankle injury, fellow runner Tevin Coleman was asked to shoulder the majority of the offensive load on the ground. And just like how both the Cardinals and Seahawks defended in Weeks 9 and 10, the defensive approach against head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense was to take away the running game.
Coleman was held to just 14 yards on 12 carries, averaging a paltry 1.2 yards per attempt. As a result, Shanahan was forced to rely almost solely on Garoppolo’s arm and the hope his cast of receiving targets would provide enough playmaking abilities.
Granted, Coleman was essentially a victim of Arizona’s defensive standpoint. But until the 49ers can establish serious and consistent threats through the air, one can expect the Niners to face plenty more seven- and eight-man fronts against players like Coleman and Breida.