ESPN’s Bill Barnwell invented 32 props for each team. For the San Francisco 49ers, Barnwell came up with a rushing prop. How many 49ers will have a rushing touchdown this season? Barnwell set the prop at 6.5:
Number of 49ers with a rushing touchdown over/under 6.5
Kyle Shanahan is a mad genius when it comes to getting the ball in his playmakers’ hands. Six different 49ers players scored a rushing touchdown last season, including Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman, Jeff Wilson Jr., Deebo Samuel, Matt Breida and Jimmy Garoppolo. It wasn’t as if most of those guys snuck in for one score either; Samuel and Wilson scored a combined seven touchdowns on just 41 carries.
Breida is gone, but the 49ers could have even more scorers this season. Jerick McKinnon is back in the fold. George Kittle occasionally gets the ball on jet sweeps near the goal line. Kyle Juszczyk got only three carries in 2019 and could be a goal-line option. It wouldn’t be a surprise if first-round pick Brandon Aiyuk got a few carries, and if Garoppolo were to get injured, backup Nick Mullens could score on a sneak. The chances of all of those guys scoring are really slim, but it’s not difficult to imagine San Francisco getting to seven, which is where ESPN’s projection lands.
The possibilities on who could score on offense are endless, but what is a realistic number? The locks are Mostert, Coleman, Wilson Jr., McKinnon, and Deebo Samuel. Garoppolo isn’t a lock, but he’s as close to one as it gets. That brings us to six, which means one player needs to have a rushing touchdown.
Aiyuk may not have as many carries as Deebo (14 carries) did his rookie season, but he’ll have more than five. Kittle had five carries last season as well, but, if memory serves, most of his jet sweeps came closer to midfield than the goal line. Aiyuk has a better chance than Kittle.
Is there any skill player we’re overlooking? If they make the roster, Richie James and Tavon Austin are sure to get one carry during the regular season. Austin had six carries for Dallas last season and averaged 7.8 yards per carry. Austin scored a touchdown on an option play. Kyle Shanahan’s offense is about getting players in space. Austin excels in space.
What do you think will more than six players have a rushing touchdown for the 49ers in 2020?