Breaking down 49ers offensive game plan for Week 18 vs. Rams

Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images) /
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Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers running back Eli Mitchell (25) Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports /

49ers must make Elijah Mitchell a workhorse 

Rookie running back Elijah Mitchell sprung right back into action last week rushing for 119 yards off 21 carries against the Houston Texans. He had missed the previous three games due to injury, but he didn’t show any rust in his return and re-established himself as the every-down back.

In the first matchup with the Rams, Mitchell was given 27 carries, rushing for 97 yards, allowing San Francisco to punish Los Angeles in time of possession by nearly 20 minutes.

One of the more impressive stats in the game was the 49ers only attempting 19 passes. Whether the starting quarterback on Sunday is Trey Lance or Jimmy Garoppolo, the team does not need to rely on either of them to win this game.

The offensive line must neutralize Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald and the front four of the Rams by opening up running lanes for Mitchell to squeeze through and turn the corner for some big plays.

LA might stack the line and try to force the Niners out of their running mindset. Even if Mitchell has a few negative rushes or no-gainers, San Francisco needs to trust the game plan and stick with the run.

Mitchell is not the only 49ers player who will receive carries in this game, but he will have the most responsibility of making sure the ground game is a success on Sunday.