No. 2: A good offense may have become great
Here’s every game score count for San Francisco preceding the trade for wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders:
31, 41, 24, 31, 20, 9.
If we take out the last score, which was a byproduct of the poor Washington weather, the team has 147 points for the first five weeks.
If we average that out, that’s 29.4 points per game. It’s a nice average, right? While some of it is contributed by defensive scores and good field position, you would still consider it a sign of a good offense.
After the Sanders trade, we saw the team hit 51 points against the Carolina Panthers and then 28 on a short week against the Cardinals.
Not coincidentally, this is because Sanders has had a huge impact on the offense beyond his 11 catches for 137 yards and two touchdowns in this time span.
What was a pleasant surprise of a first game, has become the realization his chemistry with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is no fluke.
Sanders adds a dimension to this offense which takes it to another level. Not only does Garoppolo have a true No. 1 receiver for the first time in his 49ers career, but Sanders allows tight end George Kittle to thrive even further with less attention.
As a result, keeping in mind he played the Cardinals game on one good knee, Kittle has had 12 catches for 165 yards and a touchdown since Sanders has joined the team.
Also not coincidentally, it has allowed Garoppolo to have his best performance all season against Arizona.
The trade for Sanders could look an absolute steal by the end of the year, as the addition of Sanders has allowed the 49ers to transform from an offense led by its running brigade to one which can beat you either through the air or on the ground.
And that is an offense that’s ready for a playoff push.