The 49ers' offense looked like it was back to normal en route to their 24-9 win over the Rams on Monday night. The offense scored 17 of the team's 24 points but, most importantly didn’t turn the ball over and controlled the ball on the ground averaging 4.4 yards per carry. They look to carry the momentum gained into Carolina to take on Brian Burns and the Panthers.
Here are the five players to watch on the 49ers' offense in Carolina.
LT Jaylon Moore
Moore will become the third different starting left tackle in as many weeks for the 49ers' offense, replacing Colton McKivitz, who suffered an MCL sprain against the Rams. Moore also replaced Trent Williams after he suffered his ankle injury during Week 3 but was swiftly removed for McKivitz after just seven snaps.
The only time we have seen Moore this season is as an injury replacement and not yet as a starter. However, by Sunday, he will have spent the entire week getting first-team reps for the first time this season which could result in improved play for the second-year tackle.
RG Daniel Brunskill and/or RG Spencer Burford
As of Wednesday evening, it isn’t clear whether Brunskill or Burford will get the start on Sunday in Carolina. Brunskill replaced Burford on Monday night against the Rams after the first drive, but the two rotated throughout the night, splitting the snaps 29-21 in favor of Burford. The duo combined to allow two pressures on their combined 28 pass-blocking opportunities. It’s still up in the air if the two will rotate once again, but it worked well enough against the Rams on Monday night to give it another shot against Carolina.
RB Jeff Wilson
Jeff Wilson again had a heavy workload against the Rams on Monday night, taking 18 of the 49ers' 22 rushing attempts for 74 yards and a touchdown. Monday night marked the first time Wilson ran for at least 70 or more yards in three consecutive weeks.
Next up is a Panthers defense that allows the eighth-most yards per game on the ground at 134 per. Wilson has been easily the most consistent running back on the 49ers so far, so expect him to continue seeing a high percentage of the carries, especially with Deebo Samuel struggling on the ground as of late.
TE George Kittle
Every so often, questions about Kittle’s usage in the passing game arise. The questions have always revolved around if Kyle Shanahan uses the tight end too much in pass protection. Kittle has been targeted four times in both of his games this season, with six receptions for 52 yards on 60 total passing snaps.
He has stayed back to block on only six of those 60 passing attempts, so he’s running routes at a 90 percent clip. So why isn’t he getting targeted more? Let’s see if the game plan includes using Kittle more as a pass catcher against the Panthers.
RT Mike McGlinchey
Both tackles will be on watch with the challenge of Brian Burns ahead. McGlinchey has only allowed five pressures through the 49ers' first four games, which is just the second time in his career he’s had five or fewer pressures through the first four games of the season (2019).
He allowed zero pressures on Monday night against the Rams, the second time he’s held a team without a pressure this season. Sunday will be his toughest test against Burns, who is in the great-to-elite category in terms of his pass-rushing ability. He is third in the NFL with 20 pressures and splits which side of the line he’s on 60/40, with the majority being against the left side of the offense. Jaylon Moore will likely see more snaps against Burns, but McGlinchey will get his fair share of chances as well.