No. 1: Wide receiver Kendrick Bourne
It may seem strange to include an offensive player on this list, especially given the pedestrian output from the 49ers offense, which finished with just 283 yards of total offense (171 passing, 137 rushing).
But wide receiver Kendrick Bourne, who has been the subject of some criticism throughout his time so far in San Francisco, showed up in ways that many members of the offense didn’t on Sunday.
The offense, which was stagnant for the entirety of the first half, got an early second-half shot in the arm when quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo found Bourne for a long pass to kickstart the drive.
And while that drive would ultimately end in Garoppolo throwing a fourth-down interception, it felt like that sequence to open the third quarter got the offense going, as much as either offense would get going on a day like Sunday.
Bourne would come up big again early in the fourth quarter with the 49ers clinging to a 3-0 lead.
The play almost ended up with the game’s only touchdown, a score that would have likely sealed the game at that juncture. But in any case, the receiver showed excellent skill with the ball in his hands, and proved quite tricky to bring down at the end of the play.
On the whole, the 49ers offense struggled, but Bourne was one of the unit’s bright spots. All told, he ended his day with a decent Pro Football Focus grade of 69.4 and caught three balls on four targets for 69 yards (23.0 per catch).
With none of the 49ers receivers, outside of tight end George Kittle, stepping up as a go-to option for Garoppolo, maybe this could be a jumping off point for Bourne to build upon and continue to have solid numbers from here on out.