It feels like the 49ers' offense has been stuck in neutral these last few weeks. In their two games since their 37-point output against the Panthers, the 49ers have scored just 37 points. Even worse, the 49ers have turned the ball over six times in their last two games after turning it over six times in their first five games combined. Kyle Shanahan hopes Christian McCaffrey is what gets the offense back into drive.
Here are the five players to watch on the 49ers' offense as they look to extend their regular season winning streak against the Rams to eight:
RT Mike McGlinchey
According to Pro Football Focus and their pressure stat, there’s a fascinating statistical trend going on with McGlinchey. McGlinchey has allowed at least two pressures in Weeks 1, 3, 5, and 7, with him allowing a season-high four pressures against the Chiefs last week. But in Weeks 2, 4, and 6, McGlinchey has allowed a combined zero pressures, with the Week 4 game coming against the Rams. Numbers don’t lie, and the 49ers own the Rams, so look for a clean performance from McGlinchey on Sunday.
RB Christian McCaffrey
Last Sunday against the Chiefs was just the appetizer to what Christian McCaffrey can do. He finished the game with 10 touches (eight carries and two receptions) for 62 yards (38 rushing and 24 receiving) on 22 snaps, with only four snaps in the second half. There will be no pitch count for McCaffrey on Sunday against the other team who put in an offer to the Panthers for him.
And, oh by the way, the Rams are coming off a bye. Before the bye, they played Christian McCaffrey and the Panthers, where they allowed 158 yards on 20 touches to the now-49ers running back.
RG Daniel Brunskill and RG Spencer Burford
This whole platoon situation started when the 49ers last played the Rams when Burford let Aaron Donald run through a wide-open hole to blow a play up. Since then, Brunskill and Burford have been in a rotation, with Burford seeing 68 percent of the snaps at right guard since Week 4. The duo played well last week against the Chiefs, allowing just one pressure, and played well against the Rams in Week 4, allowing two pressures. Keep in mind that Burford has also seen increasing snaps every week since the platoon began, so that trend may continue on Sunday.
WR Brandon Aiyuk
With it looking more and more likely that Deebo Samuel will be out due to injury, Aiyuk will likely see a good chunk of targets on Sunday. Samuel has traditionally dominated against the Rams with six touchdowns in seven regular season games and averages a tick under 80 receiving yards in those seven games.
Aiyuk hasn’t been as productive in his career against the Rams, with just one touchdown while averaging 45.5 receiving yards per game over his four career regular-season games against Los Angeles. However, Aiyuk has been the 49ers' best receiver on the season, leading the team in catches, yards, and receiving touchdowns, so with him potentially being Jimmy Garoppolo’s number-one target, look for a big game from Aiyuk.