Carlos Hyde slammed shut the questions about taking over the role shouldered by Frank Gore for the past decade.
The second-year back displayed power, speed, elusiveness and a plethora of spin moves in Monday night's 20-3 win over the Minnesota Vikings. As they might say in San Francisco, Hyde ran hella hard all night, going for 168 yards on 26 carries and two touchdowns.
Earlier this offseason we broke down why Hyde was a beautiful mesh with the Niners' new stretch-zone running scheme. Part of that optimism stemmed from Hyde's familiarity with the system from his college days as a Buckeye. For anyone who watches Big Ten football, they'd seen this version of Carlos Hyde before.
"It felt like I was back at Ohio State," he said of his performance Monday night.
Entering the season, Hyde's ability to fill Frank Gore's shoes wasn't the only question about the 49ers, as the team underwent a coaching change and watched several key players retire. It's just one game, but San Francisco answered those queries well.
"Silence the doubters, man," Hyde told NFL Media's Omar Ruiz about what the 49ers proved. "Whoever doubted us, we are going to silence you. We are going to stay together as a group, just get stronger, believe in one another and, you know, the sky is the limit for us."
The defense, with a frisky Comeback Player of the Year candidate in NaVorro Bowman flying around, a relentless pass rush from Aaron Lynch and coordinator Eric Mangini dialing up blitzes, didn't lose a step, despite all the offseason departures.
"I think it showed that we blocked out all those distractions," Hyde later added. "We came together as a group and as a team. There's a good bond in that locker room -- a bunch of guys that believe in each other. That's all you need."
Now they need it for 15 more games to completely wipe out the offseason narratives.