Elijah Mitchell’s return provides one other playmaker to potent 49ers offense

Taking part in for the primary time since lacking seven video games with an MCL knee sprain, working again Elijah Mitchell confirmed that he may add one thing completely different to an already dynamic San Francisco 49ers offense. 

Mitchell completed with 89 yards on 18 carries, as San Francisco grounded out 157 speeding yards on 41 runs in a 22-16 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers in a nationally televised Sunday night time contest at Levi’s Stadium.

The 49ers added one other gifted working again in Christian McCaffrey by way of commerce from the Carolina Panthers just a few weeks in the past. McCaffrey completed with 77 scrimmage yards with a landing towards the Chargers, as the 2 working again performed for the primary time collectively. 

Mitchell mentioned he and McCaffrey can turn into the perfect working again tandem within the NFL. 

“At the end of the day, it helps both of us,” Mitchell mentioned about his new teammate in McCaffrey. “He’s in Year 6, and he’s an unbelievable back, so I get to learn from him and I’m excited for it.” 

Added San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan: “We know we have a real good back in Elijah. We know we just brought in a real good one with Christian. It’s nice to make those guys a 1-2 punch. And we’ll keep Deebo (Samuel) as the bonus.” 

The victory offered one other glimpse of how dynamic San Francisco’s offense could be as they construct towards a possible postseason run.

The 49ers improved to 5-4 with the win, only a half recreation behind the NFC West division leaders, the Seattle Seahawks (6-4). The Bolts dropped to 5-4 with the loss, two video games behind the AFC West-leading Kansas Metropolis Chiefs (7-2). The Chargers host the Chiefs at SoFi Stadium subsequent week, whereas San Francisco will face the Arizona Cardinals in Mexico Metropolis subsequent week.

The 49ers acquired again frontline gamers from harm in fullback Kyle Juszczyk (finger), Samuel (hamstring) and Mitchell (knee). With a balanced offensive assault, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo as soon as once more did a pleasant job of distributing the soccer to San Francisco’s gifted playmakers, orchestrating an environment friendly offensive efficiency passing the soccer by making crucial throws on third down and within the purple zone when the 49ers want it most.

Garoppolo completed 19 of 28 for 240 yards and didn’t flip the ball over.

“Guys don’t care if they get 10 targets or one target,” mentioned Garoppolo, when requested about spreading the wealth to his workforce’s playmakers. “If we get a ‘W’, a ‘W’ is a ‘W’. And that’s all we’re here for.” 

The 49ers completed with 387 yards of offense. Seven completely different gamers executed an explosive play of no less than 12 yards or extra within the working recreation or passing recreation.

Give the Chargers credit score, Justin Herbert and the remainder of the Bolts fought valiantly, grabbing a 16-10 lead at halftime with out the providers of the workforce’s high two receivers in Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, each sitting out on account of harm. 

Herbert had one in every of his higher performances since struggling fractured rib cartilage in a Week 2 contest towards the Chiefs. The College of Oregon product completed 21 of 35 for 196 passing yards. 

Herbert acquired the Bolts on the scoreboard first on the workforce’s opening drive, capped by a 32-yard landing to DeAndre Carter. The Chargers additionally took benefit of a fumble by San Francisco receiver Brandon Aiyuk and a deflected punt by Nick Niemann, creating alternatives for 2 area targets by Cameron Dicker. 

Nonetheless, a key play for the Chargers occurred late within the first half. San Francisco linebacker Dre Greenlaw was ejected for private foul penalty after a helmet-to-helmet hit on Herbert as he scrambled for further yards down the center of the sector. 

Based on the TV broadcast, NFL’s government vp of soccer operations Troy Vincent mentioned the league seemed on the play and decided Greenlaw lowered his head and used unlawful, forceable and flagrant contact to the top of an opponent. Greenlaw left the sport as San Francisco’s main tackler with seven mixed tackles. 

“It kind of actually blew my mind,” Shanahan mentioned in regards to the ejection. “I understand the penalty. I totally get that, right at the third down marker and he was lowering his shoulder. But I’ve got to learn what that is. … For us to lose Greenlaw off that for a whole game, that really shocked me.” 

Herbert needed to depart the sport after the play and was changed by Chase Daniel for the ultimate two performs of the primary half. The Chargers needed to accept one other Dicker area objective on that drive and led 16-10 at halftime. Herbert was cleared to return to the sport within the second half, however L.A.’s offense by no means acquired again on observe.

As a substitute, the 49ers got here out within the second half and managed the sport, conserving Los Angeles scoreless the remainder of the way in which and holding them to only 52 yards of complete offense within the second half. 

“I was proud of our team today,” Shanahan mentioned. “I want to play better. I want to blow people out and score every time we go, but that team is really good at winning, the Chargers. … But we still found a way to win.” 

Eric D. Williams has reported on the NFL for greater than a decade, overlaying the Los Angeles Rams for Sports activities Illustrated, the Los Angeles Chargers for ESPN and the Seattle Seahawks for the Tacoma Information Tribune. Comply with him on Twitter at @eric_d_williams.

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