Pierre Garçon was not concerned with the pregame narratives. The San Francisco 49ers starting running back didn't focus on all the national attention given to Los Angeles Rams heralded ball-carrier Todd Gurley.
Hyde's play did the talking during San Francisco's decisive, 28-0 shutout of their divisional foe on "Monday Night Football." The third-year back carried the ball 23 times for 88 hard-earned yards. Hyde also scored two touchdowns in Week 1 for the second consecutive season.
Comparatively, the 49ers held Gurley to 47 yards on 17 carries.
"I'm here to do my job, and that's to run the ball, catch the ball, pass block and help my team win games," Hyde said. "Tonight I thought we did a nice job of putting drives together, getting into the red zone and scoring touchdowns."
On the first of Hyde's two scores, an 11-yard run in the first quarter, he exhibited a combination of patience, agility and acceleration on his way into the end zone. Hyde called patience a huge point of emphasis in Chip Kelly's offense and the biggest difference from the scheme he ran at Ohio State.
It was an inside running play, and Hyde had to wait for tight end Garrett Celek and right guard Andrew Tiller who were pulling from right to left. Those blockers dictated where the running lane opened up. Hyde initially thought he was going to bounce the run outside around the left edge. But when Celek sealed the outside with a crushing block on Rams linebacker Mark Barron, the middle of the field opened up.
"I saw it split apart like the Red Sea. My eyes got big, and I got rolling," Hyde said, who displayed an impressive hesitation move before bursting toward the goal line. "Being a running back, you have to be patient on your runs and set up your blocks."
A 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter put the finishing touches on a complete performance for the 49ers offense. Part of Hyde's success on Monday was due to his growing chemistry with Blaine Gabbert. The quarterback carried the ball nine times for 43 yards. Gabbert's ability to challenge the Rams defense with his legs helped open things up on some of Hyde's longer runs.
The two spoke prior to kickoff, and Hyde encouraged his quarterback to be aggressive.
"I (told him), 'You can run is just as good as I can run it, so don't be afraid to pull it and go make a play,'" Hyde recalled the conversation. "He was pulling it and getting yards. It just puts more pressure on the defense."
San Francisco's running game will face another tough test this Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. Kawann Short, Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis highlight Carolina's talented front seven. They'll be eager to rebound in Week 2 after Denver Broncos running back C.J. Anderson tallied 92 rushing yards and a touchdown in their opener.
But as Hyde put it, the 49ers offense just needs to continue to be "on the same page" in Kelly's offense, and the rest will take care of itself.
"This offense can be unstoppable," Hyde said. "It's just one game, we got a win and we've got a really good opponent coming up. We've really got to lock in this week."