Carlos Hyde Overshadowed Adrian Peterson’s Comeback


For the first time in months, there are more good than bad things to say about the San Francisco 49ers. The Niners crushed the Minnesota Vikings 20-3 on Monday with an outstanding running attack led by Carlos Hyde. Adrian Peterson‘s comeback received most of the pregame hype, but Hyde certainly took the attention away from Peterson. Did you see Hyde’s insane spin move? That was the exclamation point on a dominating performance.

Plus, Jim Tomsula reached the first win milestone of his head coaching career. The most glaring mistakes from the game included Jarryd Hayne‘s fumble and a few sloppy penalties, but the 49ers looked great as they proved all of the doubters wrong.

The defense of the 49ers was nearly perfect in the victory as five different players recorded sacks. This unit led by the team’s new defensive coordinator, Eric Mangini, only allowed one third down conversion all game. This kind of defensive play is exactly what the 49ers need if they want to make the playoffs this year.

Fortunately, the defense has a productive offense that can score some points. In the first regular season game of 2015, this 49ers team looked energetic and cohesive. Those are two words nobody would have attached to the Niners during last year’s 8-8 record. They will definitely make the playoffs if the defense and offense stay on the same page all season.

There was also a lot of doubt about Colin Kaepernick leading into the new campaign. He didn’t have huge numbers or any touchdowns, but he played a solid game with very few mistakes. However, the Niners ran the ball more than they passed in the win against the Vikings. Once the 49ers saw how well Hyde was running the ball, they simply kept calling his number.

Without a doubt, Carlos Hyde had the best week one performance in the entire NFL. The announcers often referred to Hyde as a bell cow. Basically, that means Hyde will lead the offense with tons of carries and high productivity.

Compared to his rookie season, Hyde looked like a new running back. His acceleration from the backfield with quick cuts across running lanes were incredibly impressive. Plus, he’s one of the most physically intimidating running backs in the league right now. Carlos Hyde ran through defenders with a steady balance of quickness and aggression that few backs can achieve.

It seemed like Hyde was making killer cuts on every carry. If a hole wasn’t at the planned location, he instantly found a lane and darted to open field. It’s great that the Niners trusted his endurance because Hyde rushed for a league-leading 168 yards on 26 carries.

On the other hand, the rushing attack of the Vikings was stiffed as Peterson only ran for 31 yards. It’s certain that fans of the 49ers are thrilled to have another explosive back in Hyde after Frank Gore‘s departure. Throughout the entire game, Carlos Hyde looked like DeMarco Murray did last year.

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Murray was the bell cow for Dallas, and he led the entire NFL in carries. However, the Eagles severely limited Murray’s carries in a week one loss to the Falcons. Perhaps the Chip Kelly offense won’t be a good fit for a running back who was previously featured as a grinder in the running game on his previous team. Maybe Chip should stop being an idiot and realize why LeSean McCoy wanted to leave the Eagles. Chip Kelly doesn’t respect the talent of great workhorse running backs. He simply spreads the ball too much. The Eagles poor rushing productivity is proof on that matter.

The type of offense the 49ers use will heavily feature Carlos Hyde throughout the season. If you have a running back who can dominate the defense, then you better give him the ball. Teams like the Eagles and Vikings will fail this year due to poor play call and lack of appreciation for a good running back.

Carlos Hyde is the bell cow for the San Francisco 49ers who is bound to run for about 1,500 yards. If he stays healthy, expect Hyde to be a monster from the backfield all year.

Next: NFC West Power Rankings: Week One