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There are plenty of NFL games that are just too damn fun to pass up, but there’s a lot to keep track of on the 49ers season-opening kickoff.
We’ll get to that later.
For now, though, let’s take a look at how the 49er offense is performing.
First up, the run game.
For a team that has been missing an elite pass-catcher since Trent Baalke was hired in the offseason, the 49ingers have been an effective unit.
It starts with an offensive line that is ranked No. 1 in the league in run blocking.
They rank No. 2 in pass protection (which includes pressure and blitzes).
Their run blocking is also fifth-best in the NFL.
The 49ers have allowed just seven sacks on the season, which is the third-best mark in the NFC.
They also rank sixth in yards per carry (6.1) and seventh in yards from scrimmage (666).
The running game has also been a big factor in this success.
The 49ers are averaging 5.9 yards per rush, tied for the third best mark in NFL history.
The last team to reach that mark was the 2001 Green Bay Packers (5.8).
On offense, San Francisco is averaging 3.5 yards per play, which ranks second in the NBA.
Their offense has also averaged 7.8 yards per punt return, which leads the league.
On defense, the defense is seventh in the Super Bowl, averaging a league-high 20 sacks.
All told, San Diego has surrendered 4.1 yards per pass attempt, which ranked eighth in the AFC.
San Francisco has also surrendered 4 touchdowns on the ground this season.
That’s the second-best total in the postseason behind only the 2012 Green Bay Seahawks (6).
So far, the team is averaging 1,633 yards of offense, which ties for the seventh-best average in the playoff era.
That’s an increase of more than 300 yards per game, and it’s the biggest increase for the 49s since they averaged 1,715 yards in 2014.
After the 49, there are some interesting names on offense.
First up, running back Carlos Hyde is averaging 4.7 yards per carries.
Hyde has been a monster for the offense, and he’s showing his ability to get open.
He’s also averaging nearly 3 yards per catch on the year.
Hyde’s a big part of the 49’s offense, but it’s his run blocking that has the most value.
Hyde is third on the team in total rushing yards, trailing only Melvin Gordon and LeSean McCoy.
Hyde also leads the team with seven carries for 31 yards.
Hyde was a key contributor to the 49 running game against the Raiders last year, and San Francisco should be a threat to break down Oakland’s defense again.
Next up, cornerback Joe Haden is averaging 6.4 yards per coverage snap, which was fourth-best on the roster last season.
At cornerback, the Niners have a tough assignment against the Falcons in the second game of the season.
Falcons defensive coordinator Danny McCray is coming off a defensive performance in which he was held to only five completions for 58 yards.
Atlanta has allowed a league high 18.8 points per game in the first half of the playoffs.
A win against the Ninos could open up the postseason for the Falcons.
The Falcons are 7-5 against the 49ERS, and they are 2-0 in the playoffs with a win.
In this game, San Diegans safety Antoine Bethea is leading the 49 with two interceptions.
He has two of them in the last two games, and Bethea has allowed two touchdowns to opposing receivers in those games.
Bethea has been targeted a team-high seven times this season, and has been one of the few bright spots on defense this season for the Niner defense.
Bethea also has been the focal point of the defense this year in the nickel package.
The defense has allowed only four passing touchdowns in the past two games.
It will be interesting to see if San Diegan safety Michael Wilhoite can continue his breakout season after being released by the Falcons last week.
If the 49es defense continues to improve, they could be in good position to compete for the division crown.