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Where To Run
December 19 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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The 49ers have rushed the ball, collectively as a team, for 1 945 yards this season. The nearly 2000 yards have come on 420 rushes, meaning they averaged 4.6 yards a carry. There are however, some areas on the field where the 49ers are better running than others. A detailed look at where the 49ers have had success rushing the ball this season shows that where the 49ers rush most, is actually where they should be rushing least.

  Rushes Yards Average
Left 116 540 4.7
Middle 168 656 3.9
Right 136 749 5.5

The above table shows that the 49ers are vastly more successful at rushing the ball along the right side of the field than anywhere else. This news of course is not surprising considering the vastly larger offensive lineman that play on the right side of the offensive line - Ron Stone and Scott Gragg.

What is surprising though is that despite being much better at rushing the ball to the right, that the 49ers rush in that direction less often than in any other direction. Similarly while they are much better running to the left of the field, than the middle, it is the left side that is rushed to least.

For some reason, this season the 49ers propensity is to rush up the middle of the field, despite the lack of success in this area. Though this figure is slightly skewed by quarterback sneaks, Garcia more often than not isnít the on rushing on 3rd and 4th and one. The run play in these cases is usually a designed run, that should be good for more than just the single yard anyway.

While I donít expect this trend to change much in the remaining two games of the season, it would be very wise for the 49ers to change it up once they enter the playoffs, and start running to the area they have the most success, or for that matter, even the second most amount of success i

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