Powerful & Aggressive Back Being Activated
Losing Elijah Mitchell to an MCL sprain that could sideline him for the rest of the regular season became a topic of discussion for the 49ers during the week of preparation for the Dolphins game.
However, Garoppolo will soon have Jordan Mason to feed the football to — who Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area revealed on Saturday, December 3 that Mason will join Ty Davis-Price as elevated backs for this upcoming game following the status for Mitchell.
That means runs like this have a strong probability of occurring at Levi’s versus the ‘Phins.
But Garoppolo got asked how much of a boost does the offense get in watching the former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket break off those kind of runs while carrying 224-pounds.
“Big Boost,” Garoppolo said to begin. “It’s starting to become pretty regular for him too. He’s just so strong. He’s explosive, has a low center of gravity and his cuts are just aggressive. It’s everything you want in a running back, honestly. He makes it tough on defenses and I think those are body blows that wear on you in the fourth quarter, so it’ll be interesting to see a full game with him.”
Per Pro Football Focus, Mason received a season-high of nine offensive snaps in the 13-0 home win over the New Orleans Saints. And after finishing with an average of five yards a carry (delivered five carries for 25 yards), Mason delivered most of his yardage after contact.
‘You Can Feel Him’
Kyle Shanahan is another who has witnessed how impactful Mason is with the football in his hand…literally.
The head coach of the 49ers described the physical nature of the big running back — even sharing how those who aren’t in front of Mason feels the wrath of his pads.
“When he gets the ball, I think you can feel him,” Shanahan said on Friday morning during his appearance on KNBR’s Murph and Mac show. “He runs hard. I know we feel it from the sidelines, and it was cool. He hadn’t gotten a lot of opportunities carrying the ball, but when we lost Elijah, when Christian was banged up, we had to close out that game with him.”
How Has Miami Fared Against the Run?
Fans who will take in Dolphins-49ers will likely see lots of handoffs.
Mike McDaniel took Shanahan’s misdirection zone read offense to South Beach while Shanahan continues to believe in the ground game. But while McDaniel’s rushing offense is struggling at ranking 28th in yards through the ground, how has the Dolphin run defense fared?
This is a unit that has allowed more than 100 yards rushing five times this season. And that includes the 252 yards the Chicago Bears racked up on November 6.
However, the Dolphins have still surrendered the seventh-fewest ground yards this season. But the Dolphins have allowed 13 touchdowns after handoffs, which is the most among AFC East teams.
Miami did allow its fewest rushing yardage total of the season at 36 in the win over the Houston Texans. But the 49ers are carrying with them an average of 4.4 yards per carry and have 10 rushing touchdowns.