By Andy Villamarzo
Hernando Sun sports reporter
MIAMI- Though it wasn’t quite the result that former Nature Coast Technical running back Matt Breida and his teammates wanted, the San Francisco 49ers came half a quarter away from bringing home another championship to California.
The 49ers fell 31-20 against the Kansas City Chiefs, who won their first Super Bowl in over 50 years. With the win, Chiefs’ head coach Andy Reid takes home his first championship as a head coach in the NFL. For Breida, he saw his production in the backfield for the 49ers decline as the NFL playoffs continued to dig deeper down the stretch.
Breida ends his season with over 600 yards rushing in the regular season, but was limited to just a handful of touches when it came to postseason play. The former Shark played exclusively on special teams for San Francisco during the playoffs, and got a lot of snaps during Super Bowl LIV, which was played at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.
Big reason why Breida fell out of touch in the running back rotation was the improved play by tailback Raheem Mostert, who rushed for over 300 yards in the postseason. Also rejoining the rotation was free agent acquisition Tevin Coleman, who was limited due to injury. Breida rushed for 19 yards in the playoffs.
San Francisco nabbed the No. 1 seed in the NFC by defeating the Seattle Seahawks in Week 17 of the NFL regular season. The 49ers were able to take advantage of having the No. 1 seed in the NFC Conference and defeated the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers at home en route to reaching Super Bowl LIV. Super Bowl LV will take place in Tampa, FL at Raymond James Stadium.
Breida’s season started off fast but slowed down once Mostert and Coleman were entrenched into the backfield. The former Sharks’ tailback has rushed for 607 yards on 119 carries for an average of 5.1 a carry. Breida has also been effective in the pass game, as the running back has caught 19 passes for 120 yards. Although touchdowns were hard to come by, with just two on the season, the former Nature Coast star has been very effective on the ground and in the air.
Now Breida heads into an off-season where he becomes a restricted free agent, but with the backfield crowded, he may look elsewhere to sign and contribute. The former Georgia Southern star should have his share of options through restricted NFL free agency.
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.