Some of what the 49ers have done this season doesn't look like, well, anything other NFL teams are doing.
A formation with six offensive linemen and two fullbacks? How about three tight ends bunched to one side? Or a formation with four tight ends, one being an offensive lineman moonlighting at another position?
"They'll throw some unique formations at you," said Johnston, a Fox television analyst who has been in the booth for the 49ers' past two wins, against the Buccaneers and the Lions. "In the Tampa game, they had the three tight ends out there to one side. It's just not traditional.
The 49ers are taking a cerebral approach to playing smashmouth football, using motion and unique personnel groups to create mismatches, often by overloading one side of the line.
The recent results have been stunning. In their past three games, the Niners have collected 580 rushing yards - their highest three-game total since 2006 - while averaging 6.4 yards a carry. San Francisco has had back-to-back 200-yard rushing games for the first time since 1998.
After a slow start (148 yards) in his first three outings, Frank Gore has now racked up 393 rushing yards in the last three games.