The 49ers in Week 9 snapped their six-game losing streak and demolished the Raiders in front of a national audience on Thursday Night Football by a score of 34-3. It was a great showing by San Francisco in the last Battle of the Bay, with plenty of players contributing big plays on both sides of the ball. Quarterback Nick Mullens had a great debut on prime time, finishing with 262 passing yards, two touchdowns, and most importantly, no turnovers.
The Raiders couldn’t get anything going on offense besides the first drive, which was the only one where they managed to come away with points. Doug Martin had the best game out of all the Raider running backs, finishing with 11 carries for 49 yards and one catch for 20 yards. Deandre Washington had five carries for 27 yards.
The 49ers’ fifth-ranked rushing attack (134.7 YPG) kept rolling on all cylinders. The team relied on the big boys in the trenches and finished with 143 yards rushing compared to the Raiders’ 103. Matt Breida received his usual share of carries and had an average stat line. He finished the game with 12 carries for 44 yards and added one catch for three yards. Alfred Morris had seven carries for 13 yards, but the big surprise of the day was Raheem Mostert.
Once again, Mostert made the most of his limited carries. Before he suffered his season-ending arm injury, the 49ers’ back was finding holes in the Raider defense and was beginning to get hot. Mostert ended the day with seven carries and 86 rushing yards, and for that, he is this edition's Star RB of the Week.
It’s really unfortunate that Mostert is out for the season now because he had surpassed Alfred Morris as the team’s backup running back and was having a great game. However, it was great to see his progression finally earn him place in the team’s offensive game plan each week after being in Kyle Shanahan’s “dog house” earlier in the season. Mostert definitely learned from his mistakes early on, and has been great in covering up the football when in traffic to avoid costly turnovers.
On this play on the 49ers’ opening drive, Mostert took the handoff up the middle for a 14-yard gain. There’s not much to this, but it’s impressive to me because Mostert ran hard and covered the ball up through the line of scrimmage. This young back has shown that he is coachable and willing to learn. After losing a fumble on his first carry versus Arizona in Week 5, Mostert hasn’t fumbled since.
Mostert also had the longest run of the night.
He took a pitch 52 yards down the right sideline and scored the first touchdown of his career on this next play.
This play was a great display of patience from Mostert, despite the play being defended poorly by the Raiders. At the beginning of the clip, the Raiders’ defense cheats over to compensate for the Marquise Goodwin (#11) motion. Now, keep an eye on safety Erik Harris (#25). He fails to read the block that Garrett Celek (#88) makes on the defensive end, and allows the play to go to the outside. His job there was to help contain, but Harris failed to get there, which was a huge reason why the play went for a touchdown.
Here’s a better angle of the failed containment:
We also have to give credit to rookie tackle Mike McGlinchey. Mostert owes him a dinner for the effort the lineman made downfield. It’s not every day that you see a lineman run 50 yards downfield to block for his running back, but that’s why the 49ers keep running to McGlinchey’s side. The first-rounder's a beast and has been manhandling defenders in the running game all season. He’s arguably the most important part of the 49ers’ potent rushing attack.
Congratulations to Raheem Mostert on his second star running back award this year, but his season has unfortunately come to an end. It’ll be interesting to see what route the 49ers to take to replace Mostert, who was just placed on injured reserve, and how he will perform in 2019. We send out best wishes to Raheem, and wish him a speedy recovery.
The 49ers will face Saquon Barkley, Odell Beckham Jr. and the struggling New York Giants this upcoming week.
Fourth and Nine Star Running Backs:
Week 1: Dalvin Cook
Week 2: Matt Breida
Week 3: Matt Breida
Week 4: Melvin Gordon
Week 5: Kyle Juszczyk
Week 7: Todd Gurley
Week 8: David Johnson
Week 9: Raheem Mostert
Sources: SI, NFL.com, YouTube.com, Pro Football Reference