Running backs across the NFL might be double-checking their team’s remaining schedule on Monday morning, hopeful that they’ll get to face the San Francisco 49ers. Because these days, facing the 49ers means a very good day for ballcarriers.
On Sunday, the 49ers allowed New Orleans Saints embattled back Mark Ingram to run for 158 yards on just 15 carries, including a 75-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
It was the seventh straight game San Francisco has seen an opponent’s back run for 100 or more yards. According to Elias Sports, that’s the longest such streak in NFL history.
San Francisco has lost all seven games.
Not only have the 49ers been giving out rushing yards like participation prizes, four of the seven players have posted career days against San Francisco.
Week 2: Carolina’s Fozzy Whittaker – 16 carries for 100 yards (career day)
Week 3: Seattle’s Christine Michael – 20 carries for 106 yards (career day)
Week 4: Dallas’s Ezekiel Elliott – 23 carries for 138 yards
Week 5: Arizona’s David Johnson – 27 carries for 157 yards
Week 6: Buffalo’s LeSean McCoy – 19 carries for 140 yards
Week 7: Tampa Bay’s Jacquizz Rodgers – 26 carries for 154 yards (career day)
Week 9: New Orleans’ Mark Ingram – 15 carries for 158 yards (career day)
All told, that’s 146 carries for 953 yards, or 6.5 yards per attempt. Yeesh.
And it could get worse – the 49ers play in Arizona on Sunday and will face Johnson again, and in Week 12 they travel to Miami, where Jay Ajayi has 529 yards in the past three games.
Since individual runners are doing so well, San Francisco is on pace to post one of the worst seasons ever in terms of rushing yards allowed: currently the Niners have allowed 1,544 yards in eight games, which would be 3,088 yards for the full season. The record for most rushing yards allowed in a single season is 3,228 by the 1978 Buffalo Bills; the 1980 Saints allowed 3,106, and the 1978 Baltimore Colts allowed 3,010.