San Francisco 49ers Snap Count Breakdown Ahead of Super Bowl 58: Data & Analysis of 49ers Offensive Snap Counts

The San Francisco 49ers were preseason favorites to reach the Super Bowl and they were one of the best teams all season. They reached their second Super Bowl in the last five years with a deep and talented roster. This article breaks down the key players for the NFC Champion 49ers with a snap count analysis ahead of their Super Bowl LVIII matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs.

49ers Offensive Snap Counts

Let’s start with the offense, which was led by QB Brock Purdy and elite playmakers like Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, and Brandon Aiyuk. The offensive line dealt with injuries but was one of the better offensive lines in the league. Here is a breakdown of the snap counts for each offensive position group, with some notes and analysis.

49ers Quarterback Snaps

Here are the 49ers’ season-long quarterback snap counts.

  • Brock Purdy – 16 starts, 936 snaps (87.8%)
  • Sam Darnold – 10 games played, 1 start, 130 snaps (12.2%)

Notes and Analysis

  • After returning earlier than expected from offseason Tommy John surgery, Purdy was a reliable presence under center for the 49ers. The only snaps he missed were during garbage time and in a meaningless week 18 game.
  • Sam Darnold looked like a reliable backup in his limited opportunities this season. He went 16-of-26 for 189 yards, 1 touchdown and 0 interceptions in his lone start in week 18.

49ers Running Back Snaps

Here are the 49ers’ season-long running back snap counts.

  • Christian McCaffrey – 16 games, 812 snaps (76.2%)
  • Kyle Juszczyk – 17 games, 495 snaps (46.4%)
  • Elijah Mitchell – 11 games, 161 snaps (15.1%)
  • Jordan Mason – 11 games, 100 snaps (9.3%)
  • Tyrion Davis-Price – 1 game, 7 snaps (0.9%)

Notes and Analysis

  • McCaffrey holding up health-wise for the entire season arguably was the most important aspect of the 49ers’ success this season. He was a true workhorse for the 49ers’ offense, leading the entire league in touches and yards from scrimmage.
  • McCaffrey played a whopping 80.7% of snaps in the games where he suited up (the 76.2% above was based on the 49ers’ total offensive snaps this season). Mitchell and Mason barely played more than 10-15 snaps a game. There is no real committee approach in this backfield.
  • According to Pro Football Focus premium snap count data, McCaffrey played 644 of his snaps from the backfield (79.2%), 94 snaps in the slot (11.5%), and 58 snaps lined up out wide (7.1%)
  • With 338 offensive touches, McCaffrey handled the ball on 33.6% of the 49ers’ offensive plays. If you include his targets that he did not catch, he was directly involved in 355 plays, or 35.3% of the 49ers’ snaps. That is a massive volume.

49ers Offensive Line Snaps

Below are the 49ers’ offensive line snap counts for each of the starting five OL positions.

  • LT – Trent Williams (15 games, 809 snaps, 75.9%), Jaylon Moore (226, 21.2%), Colton McKivitz (26 snaps, 2.4%), Matt Pryor (5 snaps, 0.5%)
  • LG – Aaron Banks (837 snaps, 78.4%), Jon Feliciano (208 snaps, 19.5%), Matt Pryor (11 snaps, 1.0%), Ben Bartch (10 snaps, 0.9%)
  • C – Jake Brendel (1,024 snaps, 96%), Jon Feliciano (26 snaps, 2.4%), Ben Bartch (16 snaps, 1.5%)
  • RG – Spencer Burford (820 snaps, 76.9%), Jon Feliciano (244 snaps, 22.9%), Ben Bartch (2 snaps, 0.2%)
  • RT – Colton McKivitz (1,014 snaps, 95.0%), Spencer Burford (26 snaps, 2.4%), Matt Pryor (26 snaps, 2.4%)

Here are the 49ers’ total snap count leaders along the offensive line, regardless of position:

  • Colton McKivitz – 17 starts, 1,040 snaps (97.6%)
  • Jake Brendel – 17 starts, 1,024 snaps (96.1%)
  • Spencer Burford – 12 starts, 846 snaps (79.3%)
  • Aaron Banks – 13 starts, 837 snaps, (78.5%)
  • Trent Williams – 14 starts, 809 snaps (75.9%)
  • Jon Feliciano – 7 starts, 478 snaps (44.8%)

Notes and Analysis

  • Trent Williams is the anchor of this offensive line and one of the best left tackles in the league. He led the league in ESPN’s ESPN’s pass block win rate among offensive tackles and was PFF’s second-highest graded offensive tackle. His three missed games in the middle of the season coincided with a three-game losing streak, which is not a coincidence. He is one of the most important players on this team.
  • Reserve guard Jon Feliciano grades out as the 49ers’ second-best offensive lineman despite not being a week 1 starter. He was PFF’s second-highest graded lineman on the team and the only other player in the top 20 at their position in either pass block or run block win rate. He is 18th among interior offensive linemen at pass block win rate.
  • As a unit, the 49ers’ offensive line was second in adjusted line yards (an advanced run-blocking metric) and 18th in adjusted sack rate (a pass-blocking metric). They also were just 20th in ESPN’s pass block win rate metric and they were 23rd in run block win rate. The pass blocking metrics are concerning considering the matchup with a Chiefs defense that was 2nd in the league in sacks and 2nd in pressure rate.

49ers Wide Receiver Snaps

Here are the 49ers’ season-long wide receiver snap counts. We have also included more detailed snap counts by alignment.

  • Brandon Aiyuk – 16 starts, 803 snaps, 75.3%; 659 wide, 143 slot, 1 inline
  • Deebo Samuel – 15 starts, 708 snaps, 66.4%; 463 wide, 189 slot, 47 backfield, 9 inline
  • Jauan Jennings – 13 games (2 starts), 361 snaps, 33.9%; 196 slot, 163 wide, 2 inline
  • Ray-Ray McCloud III – 12 games (1 start), 209 snaps, 19.6%; 143 wide, 65 slot, 1 backfield
  • Ronnie Bell – 17 games, 183 snaps, 17.2%; 146 wide, 27 slot, 11 backfield
  • Chris Conley – 8 games, 110 snaps, 10.3%; 73 wide, 28 slot, 8 backfield, 1 inline
  • Willie Snead IV – 4 games, 47 snaps, 4.4%; 23 wide, 20 slot, 4 backfield

Notes and Analysis

  • Brandon Aiyuk emerged as an elite playmaker this season, providing another dynamic dimension to the 49ers’ offense. He led the team in targets, catches, receiving yards and yards per catch, and he was 4th in the league in receptions on deep passes (20+ air yards) and 7th in deep yards.
  • Deebo Samuel continues to be a dynamic weapon for this offense as one of the best yards-after-catch players in the league with the ability to line up all over the formation. He led the league with 8.7 yards after catch per reception.

49ers Tight End Snaps

Here are the 49ers’ season-long tight end snap counts, which first-team All-Pro George Kittle dominated. We have also included more detailed snap counts by alignment.

  • George Kittle – 16 starts, 895 snaps, 84%; 646 inline, 187 slot, 56 wide, 6 backfield
  • Charlie Woerner – 17 games (2 starts), 312 snaps, 29.3%; 254 inline, 39 slot, 17 wide, 2 backfield
  • Ross Dwelley – 12 games, 76 snaps, 7.6%; 55 inline, 13 slot, 4 wide, 4 backfield
  • Brayden Willis – 7 games, 48 snaps, 4.5%; 42 inline, 4 slot, 1 wide, 1 backfield

Notes and Analysis

  • The presence of All-Pro fullback Kyle Juszczyk means that the 49ers do not run much 12 personnel (two tight ends), which limits the opportunities for tight ends not named George Kittle.

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Noah hails from Philadelphia and is a diehard Philly sports fan. He graduated from Penn where he was a sports writer and editor for the student newspaper and also spent a summer covering the Baltimore Orioles for MLB.com. He has been playing fantasy sports since before live stats were a thing, and he has enjoyed learning the nuances of DFS in recent years. As a current resident of Florida, he is hoping the wave of sports betting legalization will eventually reach his home state.

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