Broncos run defense vs 49ers run game
The Broncos defense has been really strong against the run. They should have no trouble against the 49ers run defense. However, there is aspect to the 49ers run game that the Broncos can exploit to improve their chances.
With the big boys in the middle of the Broncos defensive line, they have the strength to overpower the middle of the 49ers offensive line. Against the Ravens, the 49ers interior struggled to handle the strength of the Ravens defensive line. They were able to walk over the interior and stuff the run.
Where the 49ers did well, was getting the RB to the outside. They pulled Johnathan Martin a lot early, with little success. Then the switched to pulling one of the guards and saw better success. They WRs also played a big help. They are a tough, physical, blocking group that can seal the edge against the DBs. It is on the outside rusher to set the edge and keep the running back from getting to the edge.
One extremely important note, the 49ers ran more off the left side than the right. When watching the limited success of running to the right side, it is obvious why. On the right side, normally the 49ers have Alex Boone at the guard spot, but he is holding out. In his place is Joe Looney, who struggled mightily, in both run protection and pass protection.
The two RB’s who drew my attention from the 49ers were, Carlos Hyde and Jewel Hampton. Hyde runs with power and speed. If he gets to the outside, there is a good chance he ends up getting a good chunk of yardage. It is key the Broncos get him down with first contact. With Hampton, he has more speed in his game. The 49ers like to use him to stretch the field, for good reason. When he got to the edge, it was consistently for a solid gain.