5 unavoidable takeaways from 49ers’ Week 3 loss to Broncos
By Peter Panacy
49ers takeaway vs. Broncos No. 2: Jimmy Garoppolo can’t beat stacked boxes
One of the strategies Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero deployed on Sunday night was to frequently insert an extra (fifth) defensive lineman at the line of scrimmage.
It’s a gamble, fully intended to make San Francisco earn every yard possible in the rushing game but at the expense of opening up more chances within the secondary for quarterbacks to target.
In effect, Evero was daring Garoppolo to throw with the extra lineman down in the box.
For most quarterbacks, this is an absolute gift. With only six Denver players typically in coverage, Garoppolo would have at least two of his receiving targets facing one-on-one matchups. But Evero’s strategy paid off nicely.
Related Story: Jimmy Garoppolo’s play vs. Broncos isn’t the only brutal part of Week 3 loss
Sure, the run-first 49ers still managed to gain 88 yards on the ground and averaged 4.6 yards per carry. But, if one is to take away running back Jeff Wilson Jr.’s long of 37 yards, the Niners averaged just 2.8 yards per attempt.
And Evero’s gamble took full advantage of the hard reality that Garoppolo wasn’t capable of carrying San Francisco’s offense by the way of his throwing arm.
Just like exploiting the depth weaknesses of the 49ers’ offensive line, it’s likely other teams may copy Evero’s strategy of daring Garoppolo to throw with similar success moving forward.