Studs, duds from 49ers drubbing of the Cardinals in Week 11
49ers Dud: First-half running game
Admittedly, finding duds for this game feels a bit like nitpicking.
But as wide as the final gap on the scoreboard was, it is easy to forget that San Francisco only led 17-10 at halftime and had yet to find a groove in spite of being ahead at the interval.
One of the glaring shortcomings through the first half was the very un-Kyle Shanahan run game production. The 49ers managed just 33 rushing yards in the first half, 20 of which came on a single play by Christian McCaffrey in the second quarter, and at times seem to abandon the running game altogether, as Jimmy Garoppolo threw the ball 21 times before the break.
Working with a lead coming out into the second half, Shanahan quickly worked to fix his self-made problem, running the ball on seven out of eight plays (including a patented Garoppolo QB sneak to extend the drive) on a drive that was capped off by a 39-yard touchdown scamper by Deebo Samuel.
It all worked out, as the Niners ended up with 159 rushing yards on 28 carries, good for 5.7 yards per carry, led once again by Elijah Mitchell’s nine carries for 59 yards.
And so, as uncharacteristic as the rushing attack might have been in the first half, they made up for it by helping to close out the victory.