Biggest studs, duds from 49ers Week 17 win over Texans

Trey Lance #5 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Trey Lance #5 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Elijah Mitchell, Desmond King, San Francisco 49ers, Houston Texans
San Francisco 49ers running back Eli Mitchell (25) stiff arms Houston Texans cornerback Desmond King (25) Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports /

49ers Stud: Running Back Elijah Mitchell

Yes, the 49ers sorely missed their other star rookie, running back Elijah Mitchell, who returned after a three-game absence after suffering a concussion and knee injury earlier in the year.

Mitchell already set a new franchise record for rookies, bringing four 100-yard rush games with him into Week 17.

Now, Mitchell can tack on a new record to his already impressive résumé.

Mitchell needed 53 rush yards in the game to surpass running back Vic Washington’s Niners record for single-season rushing by a rookie, and Mitchell certainly did that and some, tacking on 119 rush yards during the game to get his 2021 totals on the ground to 878 yards.

Mitchell later told reporters some of his teammates let him know this was a possibility on the sidelines, but what was even more impressive was how he used his speed to average out 5.7 yards per attempt.

Related Story: Elijah Mitchell will be 49ers’ golden ticket to playoffs

Getting the ground game going was crucial for Trey Lance to not have to play with too much pressure on his shoulders, and it was evident Houston was going to have difficulty slowing down San Francisco’s ground game in the second half.

As long as Mitchell stays healthy, the 49ers offense should be able to remain a threat for however long the rest of the season lasts.