But they still have a lot of talent around the quarterback position, including running back Christian McCaffrey.
With rookie QB Brock Purdy sidelined with an elbow injury, the 49ers turned to journeyman backup Josh Johnson to take the snaps. Facing a 7-0 deficit, San Francisco managed to tie the game, thanks in massive part to the talented McCaffrey. The running back delivered a tremendous touchdown run for the 49ers, breaking multiple tackle attempts en route to tying the game:
This is a blocking concept often referred to as “crunch,” with multiple wham blocks along the offensive line. Perhaps the biggest comes from tight end George Kittle, blocking down on defensive lineman Fletcher Cox right at the point of attack. McCaffrey still needs to make a move right at the line of scrimmage, as defensive back Marcus Epps makes a diving tackle attempt at the back. McCaffrey steps over that attempt, slicing into the secondary. That is where he is met by C.J. Gardner-Johnson. The back runs through that tackle attempt as well, on his way to the end zone.
Here is another look at the touchdown, from the opposite angle:
And an overhead angle thrown in for good measure:
It was not the only pivotal play of the scoring drive turned in by McCaffrey. Four of the six plays on the drive came with McCaffrey involved, and he accounted for 44 of the 46 yards gained by the 49ers on the drive.
Given how much offense McCaffrey has generated so far for the 49ers, you might expect him to start throwing the ball soon.
And don’t worry, the 49ers have that in the playbook too:
Maybe that’s coming in the second half.