Unless you’ve spent the last half-decade living out your days as some form of woodland hermit, you’re aware that Kyle Shanahan has a practically unparalleled offensive brilliance.

He’s one of the league’s greatest offensive minds, but his genius is especially apparent when it comes to the design of the run game, as despite suffering frequent injuries to quarterbacks, running backs, offensive skill players, and offensive linemen, the 49ers run game never stops churning.

So, with that in mind, what about Shanahan’s offense makes it so difficult to defend, and how does he put so much strain on the defense?

“I think if you look at it from a broader perspective, they do a lot of things [with their run game],” safety P.J. Locke said, during a locker room conversation on Thursday. “They do a lot of things, a lot of motion, and they come out in a lot of different personnels, a lot of different formations, and you got to get that narrowed down and kind of look at the small perspective of it and figure out what they’re doing in certain formations and then kind of narrow it down from there. But other than that, man, they just do a lot of stuff. And if you get caught up in trying to figure out what they’re trying to do in every situation, that’s when they got you.”

What Locke is highlighting is a consistent discussion point of the Kyle Shanahan offense. They can attack you in so many different ways and have such a wide variety of plays they can run at any time, as the motion aids their pursuit of favorable offensive looks.

“What makes it so difficult is the fact that they like getting to different formations, they move and they have jet motions, they have all this stuff to like, get you looking elsewhere,” Bradley Chubb said on Thursday. “And they also got great blockers when it comes to like the perimeter guy like [George] Kittle and Trent [Williams] and [Kyle] Juszczyk, all those guys can like bow up and block an edge defender if they need to, so I feel like just the combination of scheme and the players they have has been successful.”

Motions also force the defense to quickly shift and communicate, and those quick adjustments can lead to chaos the offense can then exploit.

This was underlined by Broncos’ star defensive lineman Dre’Mont Jones.

“A team that moves that much, it makes it hard to figure out where they’re going because they have so many different pieces, they can go either direction,” Jones said. “When a team gets set and still, it’s only a certain amount of plays they can do. So, it kind of limits a down when they’re not moving.”

The insane variety and complexity of looks was a consistent theme highlighted by the Denver Broncos defense when asked about the challenges of defending Kyle Shanahan’s offense, and the talent the 49ers possess on offense was another.

“Well, anytime you have a motion, it bumps a defense in certain areas, you know, they can motion one way — can be a jet motion one way and they can run back both away,” Locke said. “It can be a jet motion one way and they still run that way and they could get to the edge quicker and set the edge for the defense, when that’s really our (the defense’s) job. So they capture the edge, and that’s when you’re in trouble. So, it’s just different stuff like that, it’s just a bunch of motion, different type of run concepts, different type of pass concepts. So, kind of like I said, you got to narrow those things down and kind of slow the game down for you.”

Meanwhile, Dre’Mont Jones primarily focused on the talent of the 49ers’ offense.

“I think the biggest reason is the fact that they have a receiver and running back in one. In one person. Which is number 19,” Jones said of the challenges of facing Kyle Shanahan. “I think he expends that offense a lot.”

So what about that is so difficult to defend?

“Just the fact that he can run the ball, and he can catch the ball, and he winds up at No. 1 receiver, No. 2 receiver, No. 3 receiver,” Jones said in a jokingly nonchalant fashion. “I think he’s the most moving part of the offense.”

And what strain does all that movement and variety — a consistent theme that is emerging here — put on the defense, and the defensive linemen in particular?

“It doesn’t necessarily strain us, it more so just lets us know what we need to highlight,” Jones said. “So, he gets the ball a lot, and we know he has a higher chance to get the ball no matter where he lines up, and he’s dynamic when he [carries the ball], so we’ve got to make sure we key him. Our motto, as a D line, is, ‘setting a vertical edge isn’t vertical enough,’ because they’d like to stretch out to the sidelines and to the numbers. So we got to really just like do a good job of readjusting the line of scrimmage back as far as we can. So we can make [those runs] not bounce. We can cut it off and have our boys in the middle takeover.”

It will be exciting to see if this talented Broncos defense is up to the challenge of defending the offense of Kyle Shanahan on Sunday night.