No. 2: Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders
Watching the game on Thursday, it’s really difficult to believe Emmanuel Sanders has only been playing with this team since the middle of last week.
The former Denver Bronco, whom the 49ers acquired last week via a trade, made his presence felt immediately in Sunday’s victory over the Panthers, scoring his first touchdown as a 49er on the opening drive. But he finished the game with relatively pedestrian numbers which didn’t outline his actual impact on the offense.
Against the Cardinals, Sanders was both able to stop the opposing defense from keying on Kittle, and also had himself quite a day in the process. He finished with seven catches for 112 yards and one touchdown, along with being on the receiving end of one of the best throws we’ve seen Jimmy Garoppolo make:
Sanders showcased his quickness and sure-handedness throughout the contest, slipping away from Cardinals shutdown cornerback Patrick Peterson on a few occasions, including on a key third down late in the game which sealed the Niners victory.
In spite of the 49ers inability to get the running game going, they managed 411 yards of total offense, thanks in large part to Sanders and George Kittle’s standout performances.
But not to be outdone was the man throwing them the football, Garoppolo.