SANTA CLARA, Calif. - 49ers running back Carlos Hyde finished Sunday's 17-3 to the Packers with eight carries for 20 yards. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick was San Francisco's leading rusher, going for 57 yards on 10 attempts.
"No, that's not what we want," head coach Jim Tomsula said of Hyde's lack of touches. "But, we have to play a complete game. We have to be able to throw the ball. We have to be able to protect. We've got to be able to do those things and stay into an offense that is in rhythm."
Perhaps the only game the 49ers offense had any sustained rhythm was in the season opening win over the Minnesota Vikings when Hyde ran for 168 yards and two touchdowns. He received 26 carries that night, more than three times the number of touches he saw Sunday.
"They brought the safeties down, played a zero look a lot," Hyde said. "They brought extra defenders in the box. It's hard to run against eight or nine guys in the box."
It was clear the 49ers' game plan was to use Kaepernick's legs. Obviously, Kaepernick has had success in the past against the Packers running the ball, particularly in the Jan. 2013's divisional round of the playoffs, when he set an NFL record with 181 yards rushing.
But the Packers did well to prevent Kaepernick from making big plays, either through the air or with his legs. The 49ers amassed just 196 total yards, to Green Bay's 362, and have the league's lowest-scoring offense.
"The coaches just make the call, the players have to execute," Hyde said. "It's on us as the players to go execute their call, not us going to the coaches and telling them it's not working."
The 49ers had just eight first downs on the day, including just one coming via running the ball. Perhaps the passing lanes would have opened up more for Kaepernick if Hyde's presence would have been established.
"We execute the plays that are called," Kaepernick said. "Every time (Hyde) touches the ball, he’s going to run as hard as he can. Other than that, we’re going out, we’re trying to make plays with what’s called.”
Chris Biderman is the Editor-in-Chief of Niners Digest and covers the 49ers from their headquarters in Santa Clara. Chris has been writing about the team since the spring of 2013. The Ohio State alum received his Journalism degree in 2011 and has been working in sports media since 2008. Chris, a Santa Rosa, Calif. native, is also a contributor to the Associated Press covering sports throughout the Bay Area. You can follow Chris on Twitter here.
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