How the 49ers 21st Became Powerful Enough to Be Called the “Death Lineup”


on ESPN My Kimes and athletes Nate Tice They recently pointed out 49ers21 personnel (2 running backs, 2 wide receivers, 1 tight end) were referred to as the “Death Lineup”.


As Tice pointed out on Twitter, the nickname is a nod to the strongest lineup in the NBA from 2014 to 2019, though. Golden State Warriors Roster includes Steve Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green.

San Francisco has 21 more home runs than any other team in the league, and that has been consistent under Kyle Shanahan. But the change in style of play From new players, such as Christian McCaffrey, He helped take the 49ers’ offense to levels Shanahan likely only dreamed of since taking over as the team’s head coach.

Shanahan has evolved with the NFL without embracing the core tenets of his offense. Prior to the acquisition of Christian McCaffrey via trade, the 49ers have fallen behind to throw the ball 34 times on 21 singles over the first seven weeks of the season while running the ball 62 times.

Since McCaffrey has been in San Francisco, he’s increased 49 from that Step back Number of attempts 110 out of 21 while still lying on the floor with 132 lunge attempts.

21-single peak in San Francisco – the so-called “death lineup” The unit is McCaffrey, Kyle Juszczyk, George Kittle, Brandon Aiyuk, and Deebo Samuel. against the Seahawks-This lineup has been in the field for 17 shots. She accumulated 261 receiving yards for an average of 15 yards per game. Although it seems unsustainable, this team has been averaging nearly five touchdowns a game since Week 13 since Brock Purdy took over.

Free formation for all

The most important advantage the 49ers have offensively is their speed. Four of their eligible receivers are running 4.4 40 yards or better—Kittle confirmed last summer that he ran 4.4s.

When Juszczyk and Kittle are on the field, the defenses are forced to let their third linebacker in to stop the run. But while common sense tells you the Niners will run an I-Formation with two backs in the field, Shanahan has only done anything since the acquisition of McCaffrey.

Shanahan has gone from an enthusiast with a new wrinkle here or there to a mad scientist, quickly figuring out whether or not his new concoctions work. Here are the different formations the Seahawks dealt with when the Niners’ 21 were on the field:


This look doesn’t tip offenders’ hands about the way they run.


On this play, you have three eligible receivers on one side, with two in intense splits about three yards from the line of scrimmage. Oh, and Depo is in the background.

The above appearance gives the illusion that the 49ers are running a play at the top of the screen, where three eligible receivers (Juszczyk, Kittle, Aiyuk) are positioned, but the play they actually ran was a Jauan Jennings play towards the bottom of the screen.

This is the first of four offensive plays from scrimmage, mind you.

Blocking is the new catch for one-handed receivers

Over the past month, the 49ers’ off-pitch pitch has used Jennings as a deep threat. I asked Shanahan earlier in the week why they would use Jennings for the role. Unsurprisingly, thanks to its aggressiveness as a barrier:

“He got those deep chances because of what he did in the running game. The way Jauan chases after people, blocking, is why people react to trying not to get hit by it and to come up and stop running. You saw what he did to them in the last game on those looks, And that’s why he got the pass out of play.

He was really open because he held off really well and that’s what he did such a good job of. I thought the ball wouldn’t be quite far off the field, as you approach it [Seattle Seahawks S Quandre] Diggs, but that’s where Brock put him and it ended up being a perfect place because Jauan went and got it and Jauan will do anything you tell him to do, and he’s a really good player.”

On the game’s second drive, McCaffrey’s 68-yard rush, the fourth-fastest carry of the Wild Card Weekend, was thanks to Shanahan’s creative 21-yard drive.

On the surface, it looks like your typical 2×2 formation. Then, a pre-snap move gives San Francisco a numbers advantage to one side. Juszczyk has an easier angle to block the oncoming linebacker, while another linebacker has it luxury. luxury of Trent Williams running towards him at full speed.

The result of the play:

The linebacker, linebacker, and safety at the bottom of the screen were little interested in competing for play, and the 49ers took full advantage.

Williams and Kittle have established a reputation as the best blockers at their position. The same wasn’t true a year ago for Aiyuk, he finds Same in the dog house. This season has changed.

On Wednesday, Shanahan was asked about Ayuk’s stopping prowess and spoke about how the mentality of the 49ers’ best players is what separates them from the rest of the league:

“I think it always helps when you have height and size and I think he has that. I think it’s the mentality of all our guys though. I think we’ve got a lot of good players. What I like to say separates us from other teams that have good players is that our good players really save as well.” , Whichever one of the five guys has the ball, the other four block the ball as well as anyone else. And Brandon does it as well as anyone else, but I think all of our guys do too.”

While flanking players blocking by whistle never add up to the equal value of a Splash Brothers 3-point shot, it has been San Francisco’s “Odell Beckham Jr. catch” this season – whether or not we’ve seen it on the highlight reels.

You won’t find a 49er play that went over 40 yards this year where the player wasn’t blocking someone on the field. Shanahan has managed to buy his players skill, and the reward has been more than rewarding for an already effective offense.

A fail-safe future

Shanahan modeled for the 49ers on a fail-safe offense. In seasons past, there was always too much on the plate for an individual, forcing an ill-equipped secondary player to win the necessary game.

Send a list with Just Good players do no harm, but we see the payoffs of what happens when every player has the same probability of failure. Score is an offense that is glorified, which is why we see the scoreboard starting with the number 3 or 4 after every game.

Conventional thinking would lead you to believe that position has something to do with ABC, while another position has something to do with XYZ. You can’t reconnect the warriors to the discussion need to Your position to be the edge protector. If your little striker can block shots and shoot 3s while your power forward can keep the big ones off paint and ricochet, you’ve solved the problem.

With Shanahan, we see fundamental change in the game of football right before our eyes. He’s far from the first coach to use a running back as a passing pro – hello Roger Craig – but we’re seeing the extremes of positionless football.

McCaffrey lines up as a running back, but he also plays outside at receiver or in the slot. Juszczyk has played every position besides quarterback this season. Deebo seems to be the best at getting back into the league when he has the ball in his hands.

As was the case with the Warriors, it pays to have super talent. NBA teams don’t do that very often Have the luxury of contracting a 7′ wing defender who shoots 50/40/90 who can protect the edge.

What San Francisco achieves should be filed under the “Don’t Try This at Home” headline. We’re still waiting for the “Next Deebo” to show their faces. McCaffrey is not limited to capturing screen scrolls. What other runs are required to run these types of tracks?

We’re not far from running as the ultimate attack stance. McCaffrey, a first-team player, tags running back but catches miles on first down.

The 49ers’ best running back may be their receiver, who excels after catches while accelerating in a way that makes the Cheetahs blush. The top target for the red zone is not the usual wide receiver that the Bills or Bengals have, but a tight end that prevents opers-athlete no match inside the 10-yard line.

The initial discussion about the 49ers this season, a topic that will continue into the offseason, will surround quarterbacks. Despite the presence of three different players under the position, continuity remained stable with the head coach and stars in the skill player position.

Shanahan’s constant use of movement before the snap only causes more mayhem as opposing defenses play catch-up – literally and figuratively – for 21 of the 49ers.

During last year’s Wild Card game against the Cowboys, San Francisco threw the ball seven times on 21 singles. They may top that number in the first quarter with this year’s “death lineup.”

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