RB Matt Breida - San Francisco 49ers

5-11, 190Born: 2-28-1995College: Georgia SouthernDrafted: ---

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Game Recaps

2019 Week 1 vs TB (15 / 37 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Because of linebacker Lavonte David playing like a heat-seeking missile, only three of Breida's touches went for more than three yards, two of which came on consecutive third quarter plays. The first of these gained 10 yards off left tackle, 5 of which came after Breida juked cornerback Vernon Hargreaves out of his shoes. On the next play, also out of the rare 22 personnel (two running backs, two tight ends), Breida slithered through heavy traffic off right tackle and picked up 13 yards.

2019 Week 2 vs CIN (12 / 121 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 11 / 0 rec)

There are three main takeaways from Breida's performance against Cincinnati. First, although he started, he played only 29 pecent of snaps; fewer than "backups" Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson. Relatedly, Breida came off the field when San Francisco advanced into the red zone. Finally, and on a more positive note, what with play-calling producing wide-open running lanes and receiving routes on play after play, Breida had the single-most impressive display of individual skill among the 49ers' skill position players. On 3rd-and-1 at Cincinnati's 49-yard line midway through the second quarter, Breida took a handoff and immediately ran into the backside of center Weston Richburg. However, he saw a cutback lane to his right and took it, but cornerback William Jackson III had him dead to rights on backside contain. No worries, Breida jump cut to the right as Jackson III dove at his legs, then jump cut back to the left to juke linebacker Nick Vigil out of his shoes. After that Herculean effort to gain that first yard, the final 33 yards of the run were a relative piece of cake.

2019 Week 3 vs PIT (14 / 68 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 20 / 0 rec)

For the second straight week, Breida played only around 40 percent of snaps despite Tevin Coleman's absence. And once again, he looked like San Francisco's best running back nonetheless. Although the offensive line created gaping holes for him, Breida made defenders miss on multiple occasions. One he probably wishes he'd have made miss was linebacker Devin Bush on a third quarter carry that netted five yards, but could have gone the distance given Bush was the last line of defense between Breida and the end zone.

2019 Week 5 vs CLE (11 / 114 / 1 rush, 3 / 3 / 15 / 1 rec)

Although Breida's highlight reel got much of the attention in the aftermath of this game, astute observers will recognize that a) his was basically a two-play performance, and b) the defense didn't come within yards of him on either of said plays. To wit, on Breida's 83-yard touchdown to start the game, blocks by Kyle Juszczyk and George Kittle catapulted him to the second level of the defense, and his 4.39-forty warp drive sent him to the end zone untouched. Similarly, rookie Cleveland linebacker Mack Wilson seemed to get defeated by Breida's presnap shift, as well as his pivot route out of the backfield.

2019 Week 6 vs LAR (13 / 36 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 27 / 0 rec)

Breida played less than usual because he was nursing an ankle injury for most of the game. There weren't many holes to run through, but he did have a couple of explosive runs in the third quater. One inolved spinning out of a hit at the line of scrimmage, creating 8 yards out of nothing. The second saw Breida explode through a hole, and nearly spin out of another tackle 9 yards downfield.

2019 Week 7 vs WAS (8 / 35 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 1 / 0 rec)

Breida started to get things going late in the first half, with a couple of nice cutbacks on outside zone for 20 total yards. Unfortunately, he wasn't used in the final 25 minutes of game time due to a possible concussion.

2019 Week 8 vs CAR (11 / 35 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 15 / 0 rec)

Breida gained 32 of his 50 scrimmage yards on two plays. On San Francisco's first drive, which ended in a touchdown, Breida ran untouched for 15 yards down to the Panthers 2 yard line after faking a handoff, then turning around to catch a shovel pass. This was more a particularly clever design by Kyle Shanahan than anything. Then, just before the 49ers scored their third touchdown, Breida took an outside zone pitch 17 yards down to Carolina's 10 yard line -- once again untouched until being tackled.

2019 Week 9 vs ARI (15 / 78 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 14 / 0 rec)

Nearly two-thirds of Breida's 94 scrimmage yards came on three plays: Two runs of 31 and 19 yards respectively in which he wasn't touched until the end; and a 9-yard reception in which he wasn't covered on a shallow cross across the middle.

2019 Week 10 vs SEA (10 / 18 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 7 / 0 rec)

Completely on-brand, Breida left the game early due to injury. Before doing so, all of the carries before his last one came against eight-man boxes, and so they mostly went nowhere.

2018 Week 1 vs MIN (11 / 46 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 5 / 0 rec)

As was the case in San Francisco's third preseason game, Breida did not start, instead substituting in for Alfred Morris when the down-and-distance situation warranted. Especially odd was that, for a running back who figures to be the pass catcher of the two, Breida wasn't utilized much there either; ditto the red zone.

2018 Week 2 vs DET (11 / 138 / 1 rush, 4 / 3 / 21 / 0 rec)

The hint of a big game came early, when Breida took a handoff on the 49ers first play and ran for 28 yards, the final 10 of which carrying Teez Tabor on his back. Also on that run, Breida juked Glover Quin out of his shoes at around the 11-yard mark. Another long run, a 66-yard touchdown near the end of the third quarter was practically a carbon copy. He was able to navigate through the initial traffic on an outside zone, and then juke a safety -- this time Quandre Diggs -- about 10 yards downfield. The difference here was that Diggs' swing-and-miss also took out the only other tackler in the vicinity. From there, finding the end zone simply took a cut back across the field and lead-blocking from Pierre Garcon for the final 35 yards. A third long run immediately preceded the touchdown and appears to have been the same play, just with the formation and run direction flipped. In the end, One hundred fourteen of Matt Breida's 138 rushing yards came on these three carries, but they weren't fluky occurrences, either.

2018 Week 3 vs KC (10 / 90 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 27 / 0 rec)

Although about 40 percent of Breida's rushing yardage came with San Francisco down two or more scores, his longest run came on the first play of their second drive. The run was designed as an outside zone right, but Breida saw there was no hole to run through and cut back across the field into wide open space. He also had an odd long run (21 yards) in the third quarter, where Jimmy Garoppolo fumbled the snap, but was able to recover it in time to pitch the ball to Breida on an improvised sweep left. Breida was relatively quiet in the passing game, although he did continue to get lined up out wide as a receiver more than most NFL backs do.

2018 Week 4 vs LAC (9 / 39 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 32 / 0 rec)

Breida played more than twice as many snaps as Alfred Morris due to the 49ers game plan involving more passing than running. This actually opened up space for Breida's carries, as he had four runs of five yards or more. His longest run of the day was on the first play of San Francisco's second drive. The designed hole behind left tackle was wide open with fullback Kyle Juszczyk leading the way, and so Breida was able to scamper for 12 yards untouched before going out of bounds. Suprisingly, he wasn't utilized much at all as a receiver, with his biggest receiving gain coming on San Francisco's ill-fated final drive. It was a bubble route with him lined up in the slot. He caught the pass five yards behind the line of scrimmage with two blockers in front of him. The were late in arriving, however, so Breida had to make two tacklers miss in order to gain his 20 yards on the play.

2018 Week 5 vs ARI (8 / 56 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 5 / 1 rec)

Breida was on pace for a huge game before leaving the game for good with an injured ankle on the last play of the first quarter. He made the most out of wide open running lanes, but also maximized yardage when there was nothing open. To wit, on the play he got hurt, he broke two tackles at the line of scrimmage before being twisted down from behind after creating three yards out of thin air. Breida's touchdown came on a cleverly designed screen pass at the goal line, wherein C.J. Beathard faked the handoff to him, waited a beat, and then shoveled the ball to him for an easy score.

2018 Week 6 vs GB (14 / 61 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

For seemingly the umpteenth time this season, Breida staved off the reaper. The fact that he was wholly uninvolved in the 49ers' passing game was even more of a surprise. One explanation was the use of Kyle Juszczyk in one-back sets more than usual, especially in the second half. In the rushing game, Breida's touchdown run was a perfect display of his athleticism, as he successfully performed the rare goalline spin move after initially being stopped at the line of scrimmage.

2018 Week 7 vs LAR (5 / 15 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

For what seems like the umpteenth time this season, Breida suffered what initially appeared to be a major injury, only for it to turn out to not be as bad as initially feared. A more influential duo of factors contributing to Kyle Shanahan shutting Breida down for the day were a) Raheem Mostert playing well in his brief absence, and b) the more-lopsided-than-it-looks 22-7 deficit at halftime. Breida did lose a fumble on his first carry after returning in the second quarter, but Shanahan's not the kind of coach that would bench such an important piece of his offense because of that.

2018 Week 8 vs ARI (16 / 42 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

When a player like Breida gets cleared after being a game-time decision, especially one that's been injured constantly for the past 3 months, it's hard to tell whether his ineffective performance was due to the injury or bad blocking. Pero, porque no los dos? Ten of Breida's 16 carries went for 3 yards or less, and review of the All-22 reveals this was due to the latter. But at the same time, only one of Breida's carries went for 10 yards or more despite good blocking, which suggests a tad bit of the former as well. A carry midway through the first quarter was emblematic of this. At full strength, Breida would have easily broken off a big run after hurdling a grounded 2nd-level defender, but he tripped after the hurdle, fell down, and vented his own frustration about not getting more yardage on the play.

2018 Week 9 vs OAK (12 / 44 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 3 / 0 rec)

Knowing the final score no doubt introduces a modicum of hindsight bias here, but Breida probably should have sat this one out. Eight of his carries gained 3 yards or less and both of his carries that gained double-digit yardage were of the "untouched through a wide-open hole" variety. In short, he showed all the explosiveness of a running back nursing an ankle injury on a short week.

2018 Week 10 vs NYG (17 / 101 / 1 rush, 4 / 3 / 31 / 1 rec)

Breida's first carry, an off-tackle run for eight yards, was a sign of things to come. Indeed, all of his long gains ended up being near carbon copies: Outside runs through huge lanes that resulted from perfect blocking. On his inside carries, Breida ran tough and made lemonade out of lemons on several occasions, but there just wasn't much daylight to be had. Despite his gaudy per-carry average, Breida showed more individual skill on his targets. On his touchdown catch, he lined up in the right slot, ran a post across the field, and made a spinning, leaping catch over two defenders. On another reception, a 19-yard catch and run, Breida ran a West Coast staple, the angle route, out of the backfield, and used a stutter step to beat Alec Ogletree to the inside as if he wasn't even there.

2018 Week 12 vs TB (14 / 106 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 34 / 0 rec)

Not good for fantasy football was Breida ceding almost of garbage time to backup du jour, Jeff Wilson. And there was a lot of garbage time in this one! Good for fantasy football was pretty much everything else. Despite (still) nursing an ankle injury, Breida used his seemingly indestructible legs to once again show a level of agility and explosiveness he shouldn't be able to muster at the moment. On his first long run, which came on San Francisco's first play, Breida made an impromptu cutback at the line of scrimmage to turn no gain into 33 yards. On his second long run (21 yards), he followed the lead blocks of Kyle Juszczyk and a pulling Mike McGlinchey on a toss sweep, then accelerated through the hole and avoided two tackles at the second level of the defense. Breida's fantasy day could have been even more productive if not for a 1-yard touchdown that was not awarded and was not reviewed despite it looking for all the world like the ball broke the plain of the goal line.

2018 Week 13 vs SEA (5 / 6 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 51 / 0 rec)

Breida aggravated his never-ending ankle injury during pregame warmups. He still started, but ceded first-half playing time to Jeff Wilson and didn't have a touch in the final 27 minutes of game time. Speaking of that last touch, it was quintessential 2018 Breida, what with gaining 26 yards on a well-designed screen pass, but having to hop off the field after being tackled from behind; never to be seen again.

2018 Week 15 vs SEA (17 / 50 / 0 rush, 5 / 5 / 46 / 0 rec)

Breida's pedestrian performance on paper was also a pedestrian performance on film. His gains as a receiver were due to either well-executed screen passes or being wide open in the flat. As a runner, there simply wasn't much running room all game, such that even Walter Payton wouldn't have gained much more than the 50 yards Breida did. It should be said, however, that Breida's hard running and cut-back ability turned a handful of 1-to-4-yard gains into 5-to-8-yard gains.

2018 Week 16 vs CHI (4 / 20 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 6 / 0 rec)

Like clockwork, Breida aggravated his lingering ankle injury early in the game, and did not return. Before he left, Breida was able to find the open cutback lane on an outside zone and gain 11 yards. This was San Francisco's longest rush of the game.

2017 Week 1 vs CAR (4 / 11 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Breida got some work to spell Carlos Hyde and looked quick through the hole, but won't value unless Hyde goes down.

2017 Week 2 vs SEA (4 / 35 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 3 / 0 rec)

Breida's first action of the game came when Carlos Hyde needed a breather after his 61-yard run in the second quarter. He didn't re-enter until the end of the third quarter, once again as a respite giver. This latter stint was more productive than the former, as he gained 10 or more yards on three consecutive carries. The first was a 10-yard gain against Seattle's bend-but-don't-break defense on 3rd-and-16; nothing to learn from there. In contrast, Breida's second and third carries came in much higher leverage situations, i.e., during a fourth-quarter drive that put San Francisco into range for their go-ahead field goal. That said, both plays were blocked impeccably; especially the latter, which gave Brieda the benefit of a lead-blocking fullback.

2017 Week 3 vs LAR (3 / 9 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 20 / 0 rec)

The bulk of Breida's playing time came when Carlos Hyde briefly left the game with a hip injury. In that time, his performance was a mixed bag. On one hand, he demonstrated good ball skills on two receptions and broke several arm tackles on a 10-yard run up the middle. On the other hand, he dropped an easy inside screen pass to start San Francisco's third drive.

2017 Week 4 vs ARI (9 / 16 / 0 rush, 3 / 1 / 4 / 0 rec)

About 40 percent of Breida's playing time came during a 14-play stretch midway through the first half. As a runner, a 9-for-16 stat line looks even worse when half of his yardage came on one play, a toss sweep to the left in which he went untouched the entire way. In the passing game, he fared better. Immediately following that 8-yard run, Breida scored a touchdown on a corner route from out of the backfield, but it was nullified by offensive pass interference on Trent Taylor. (Unlike last week, this week's call was completely uncontroversial.) Breida also made a great block against blitzing linebacker Karlos Dansby, which allowed Brian Hoyer to connect with Trent Taylor for a first down on 3rd-and-3 during overtime.

2017 Week 5 vs IND (10 / 49 / 0 rush, 5 / 3 / 22 / 0 rec)

With Carlos Hyde sidelined for long stretches while nursing his hip injury, Breida played more than usual in this game and was actually able to portray a reasonable facsimile of Hyde's role in the 49ers' offense. He had several runs of 5 yards or more, including consecutive third-quarter carries of 13 and 14 yards. He was also active in the passing game, both as an outlet for Brian Hoyer and as a primary receiver on a quick slant on third down that kept San Francisco's touchdown drive alive at the end of the third quarter. That said, he wasn't anything at all like Hyde in terms of breaking tackles, as several of the aforementioned intermediate-length runs would have been even-longer gainers if not for Breida going down via the slightest bit of contact. He may have built a reputation for missed tackles in college and the preseason; just didn't demonstrate it against Indianapolis.

2017 Week 6 vs WAS (4 / 21 / 0 rush, 4 / 2 / 15 / 0 rec)

After splitting snaps with Carlos Hyde last week, Breida returned to his typical 25 percent share against Washington. However, he did avail himself of this limited playing time. Breida's first touch didn't come until midway through the second quarter, but he was able to gain 10 yards due to a perfectly executed weakside cut-back. Early in the third quarter, he gained double-digit yardage on consecutive plays. The first saw him lined up outside the numbers as a wide receiver against the coverage of cornerback Bashaud Breeland. He may have only won the battle because of (what looked like) defensive indifference, but his comeback route was textbook and he used his hands to snatch a high throw out of the air. On the next play, an outside zone run to the right, Breida evaded unblocked linebacker Zach Brown's tackle attempt behind the line of scrimmage, identified the wide-open lane, and cut upfield for 10 yards. In an odd turn of events, that was Breida's last touch until late in the fourth quarter, i.e., over 24 minutes of game time later.

2017 Week 7 vs DAL (3 / 5 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

The fact that Breida only played 23 percent of the 49ers' offensive snaps and saw only four opportunities in the process was particularly peculiar given the fact that, down 20-3 to start the second half, San Francisco seemingly treated this like a preseason game, emptying their offensive bench in the second half. Fourth-and fifth-string wide receivers saw significant action, but for whatever reason their second-string running back remained on the sideline. To boot, this was now the second week in a row Breida has such a small role.

2017 Week 8 vs PHI (5 / 17 / 0 rush, 6 / 4 / 39 / 1 rec)

Breida's longest carry was a 9-yard run against Philadelphia's defensive indifference in garbage time, so he suffered the same fate as Carlos Hyde did with respect to lack of running room. On one of his incomplete targets, Breida also fell victim to "the C.J. Beathard," i.e., a pass on an in-breaking route that's thrown well behind him. That said, Beathard was able to make the connection more successfully with Breida than with Hyde, the pinnacle of which was the former's 21-yard touchdown reception (albeit in garbage time). On the play, Breida was lined up in an offset I-formation and executed his requisite play-action fake before taking a shovel pass untouched into the end zone.

2017 Week 10 vs NYG (9 / 55 / 1 rush, 2 / 1 / 3 / 0 rec)

With Carlos Hyde finding little resistance from New York, Breida returned to his role of giving a breather. That's why it wasn't until a three-play span during garbage time that Breida gained 49 of his 55 rushing yards, the capper being a 33-yard touchdown run. On the play, Breida lined up in a single back formation and took the hand of on an outside zone run. Like Hyde, Breida benefitted from overpursuit by the Giants' front seven, cutting back through a wide chasm and going untouched into the end zone.

2017 Week 13 vs CHI (12 / 45 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 4 / 0 rec)

Although Breida got more touches than usual because San Francisco used the no huddle more than usual, he didn't do much that stood out, mostly gaining yardage in plus running situations like 3rd-and-long, 2nd-and-long, and two late-second quarter drives.

2017 Week 14 vs HOU (12 / 27 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

With the 49ers using even more no huddle than they usually do and having multiple drives in the final five minutes of the first half, Breida replaced Carlos Hyde on the field for long stretches of plays at a time. Unfortunately, that increased playing time didn't result in increased production. The longest of Breida's 12 carries went for only 6 yards, mainly because there either were no holes to run through at the point of attack or the holes that opened up closed just as quickly.

2017 Week 16 vs JAX (11 / 74 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 8 / 0 rec)

Breida's signature play in this game was his 30-yard, victory-sealing touchdown run with 90 seconds left. On the play, Breida was lined up as the single back in a trips left formation. Marquise Goodwin went in motion, which got the Jaguars' defense moving in one direction. Jimmy Garoppolo faked the jet sweep to Goodwin, and instead pitched to Breida going in the opposition direction. This designed misdirection resulted in Breida being able to run untouched into the endzone. (Although he was untouched, it should be noted that he made a deft tackle-avoiding, tight rope-walking move along the sideline about half way there.) Otherwise, Breida's only other clear display of individual running skill came on a 13-yard run near the end of the second quarter. This time in an I-formation, he bounced off would-be tacklers behind right guard, then cut back inside and ran away from two more, and then powered through another tackle attempt 10 yards downfield.

2017 Week 17 vs LAR (12 / 72 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 32 / 0 rec)

With the Rams' defensive front seven playing backups save for eight plays, it wasn't surprising to see Breida (and Carlos Hyde) run for 6 yards per carry. It was surprising, however, to see Breida post his longest reception of the season, a 32-yard catch and run in the back half of the fourth quarter. On the play, San Francisco lined up with two in-line tight ends, but no wide receiver, on the right side of the formation and with both Breida and Hyde in the backfield. Hyde motioned left and both tight ends ran in-breaking routes towards the left side of the field. All of these actions drew the defense in that direction, primarily the two defenders on the tight end side of the defense, thereby allowing Breida to slip out of the backfield completely uncovered. By the time the Rams figured out their error, the closest would-be tacklers weren't within 20 yards of him.