SF 49ers: 5 biggest unsung heroes in Week 3 win vs. Giants

Nick Mullens #4 and Brandon Aiyuk #11 of the San Francisco 49ers congratulate Jeff Wilson Jr. #30 (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Nick Mullens #4 and Brandon Aiyuk #11 of the San Francisco 49ers congratulate Jeff Wilson Jr. #30 (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Jeff Wilson, Nick Mullens, SF 49ers
Jeff Wilson Jr. #30 of the San Francisco 49ers takes the handoff from quarterback Nick Mullens #4 (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The SF 49ers needed their backup players to perform in Week 3 against the Giants, and they did. Especially these five less-known standouts.

Much of the focus from the SF 49ersone-sided 36-9 Week 3 road win over the New York Giants centered on backup quarterback Nick Mullens, who got the start in place of the injured starter, Jimmy Garoppolo.

And certainly for all the right reasons. Mullens went 25-of-36 for 343 yards, a touchdown, no interceptions and a passer rating of 108.9.

But that was only part of the story.

The Niners, banged up with all sorts of injuries on both sides of the ball, were without a number of key players, and this fan tweet certainly points out just how resilient head coach Kyle Shanahan’s squad at MetLife Stadium last Sunday:

Go down the roster, and that’s the fact. San Francisco somehow managed to pull off a massive win despite all those losses, looking just as dominant as it would have if the entire squad had stayed healthy.

While Mullens deserves a lot of attention, there are plenty of other players who should receive praise for their efforts.

Particularly these five.

No. 5: SF 49ers Running Back Jeff Wilson

The SF 49ers were without their two top running backs, Tevin Coleman and Raheem Mostert, who are both out with knee injuries. While this allowed No. 3 runner Jerick McKinnon some early looks, a late-game injury to Jet pushed the No. 4 option on the roster, Jeff Wilson, into the spotlight late.

Granted, the Niners were already running away with the game in the second half. But that shouldn’t overshadow Wilson’s 12 tough runs against a Giants defense that allowed a mere 2.7 yards per carry to San Francisco’s offense.

One of those Wilson rushes resulted in a 2-yard touchdown, effectively icing the game if it wasn’t already.

But three catches for 54 yards, including this 19-yard catch-and-run touchdown grab put Wilson on this list:

Wilson is an underrated receiving tailback, and he flashed his post-catch explosiveness on this play early in the fourth quarter.

As such, especially if Mostert and Coleman are out for a while, Wilson should see a lot more of the field in the coming weeks.