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5 players to watch on the 49ers' offense against the Chiefs: Hey, somebody new!

Plus, a bonus player. You’ll never guess who

San Francisco 49ers v Carolina Panthers Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images

It might sound obvious, but the 49ers' offense will likely have to put up some points on Sunday against the Chiefs. The 49ers have scored 20 or more points in a game this season just three times, and the offense has been lackluster at times. However, Kansas City’s offense has scored 20 or more points in five of their six games, so the 49ers' offense needs to be prepared for a shootout.

The good news is reinforcements might be in Santa Clara in time for Sunday. Here are the now six players to watch on the 49ers offense Sunday:

Bonus: RB Christian McCaffrey

The 49ers have acquired running back Christian McCaffrey from the Carolina Panthers. His role on Sunday could be minimal, if he even plays at all, with the trade occurring Thursday night, but I’ll cover my bases with this bonus sixth player to watch.

The move addresses a need at the running back position, especially with the number of injuries within the position group, while adding an elite offensive weapon alongside Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and George Kittle.

QB Jimmy Garoppolo

Jimmy Garoppolo has been solid to good over the last three weeks, but the 49ers are going to need Jimmy Garoppolo to be great against Kansas City on Sunday. Over his last three games, Garoppolo has completed 64 percent of his passes for 788 yards, five touchdowns, and two interceptions for a 97.7 passer rating.

The 49ers' offense has averaged 25 points over those three games, a number slightly higher than what the Chiefs' defense has allowed per game (24.8), but anytime a team faces Kansas City, they must be prepared for a shootout. Kansas City’s offense averages a league-high 29.8 points per game, so the 49ers' offense might have to hit on all cylinders to keep up with Patrick Mahomes and company, and it all starts with the 49ers' signal caller.

LT Trent Williams

It’s still early in the week, but Williams being on the field for practice on Wednesday, albeit limited, could be a good sign for his status on Sunday. Anytime an all-time great at his position can return, it’s obviously a boost, but more so for Williams, as the left tackle position has struggled since his Week 3 injury.

Colton McKivitz and Jaylon Moore allowed nine combined pressures in the three-plus games since Williams went down (McKivitz only allowing one and Moore allowing a team-high eight), which is more than double the amount Williams allowed in his two and a half games he’s played this season (four).

RG/RT Daniel Brunskill

Mike McGlinchey was considered day-to-day with a calf injury he suffered against Atlanta, but he did miss practice on Wednesday. Brunskill took over for McGlinchey and played 36 snaps at right tackle after playing 10 snaps at right guard in his usual platoon with Spencer Burford. McGlinchey is off the injury report, which means Brunskill will continue to play inside.

Brunskill is going to play against the Chiefs, but whether it’s in a limited role at right guard or as the every down tackle is yet to be determined. He played well his first two games, allowing only one pressure on 31 pass-blocking opportunities but struggled against Atlanta, allowing four pressures on 37 pass snaps.

WR Deebo Samuel

Samuel currently ranks third in the NFL with 271 yards after catch (behind only Cooper Kupp and Justin Jefferson). The Chiefs' defense has allowed the fifth-most passing yards in the league, allowing 1,596 yards through six games, with 822 of those yards coming after the catch, which is good for the fourth-most allowed. This plays well into Kyle Shanahan’s offense which ranks ninth with 799 yards after the catch, and a large part of that success is due to Samuel.

RB Jeff Wilson

Wilson had one of his worst games as a starter against the Falcons, with seven carries for 25 yards and a fumble lost that resulted in a touchdown. This, plus the 49ers' non-existent run game, played a role in the 49ers' lackluster 14-point performance.

Next up is a Chiefs defense that’s allowed the sixth-fewest rushing yards this season with 543 allowed but has also faced the fifth-fewest rushing attempts as well. Those numbers are aided by their Week 4 game when the Buccaneers only managed three (not a typo) rushing yards against the Chiefs. In the two games since Kansas City has allowed 280 rushing yards. Wilson will need to be better than what he was last week to at least keep the Chiefs' defense honest.