Sat. Dec 10th, 2022

Eric Williams

NFC West Reporter

Taking part in for the primary time since lacking seven video games with an MCL knee sprain, working again Elijah Mitchell confirmed that he might 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 dashing 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 proficient 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 in opposition to 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. 

“On the finish of the day, it helps each of us,” Mitchell mentioned about his new teammate in McCaffrey. “He is in 12 months 6, and he is an unbelievable again, so I get to study from him and I am excited for it.” 

Added San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan: “We all know we’ve an actual good again in Elijah. We all know we simply introduced in an actual good one with Christian. It is good to make these guys a 1-2 punch. And we’ll preserve Deebo (Samuel) because the bonus.” 

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

The 49ers improved to 5-4 with the win, only a half sport 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 bought 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 proficient playmakers, orchestrating an environment friendly offensive efficiency passing the soccer by making vital throws on third down and within the pink zone when the 49ers want it most.

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

“Guys do not care in the event that they get 10 targets or one goal,” 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 is all we’re right here for.” 

The 49ers completed with 387 yards of offense. Seven completely different gamers executed an explosive play of a minimum of 12 yards or extra within the working sport or passing sport.

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 companies of the workforce’s prime two receivers in Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, each sitting out resulting from harm. 

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

Herbert bought 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 discipline objectives by Cameron Dicker. 

Nevertheless, 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 sphere. 

In accordance with the TV broadcast, NFL’s govt vice chairman 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 pinnacle of an opponent. Greenlaw left the sport as San Francisco’s main tackler with seven mixed tackles. 

“It sort of really blew my thoughts,” Shanahan mentioned concerning the ejection. “I perceive the penalty. I completely get that, proper on the third down marker and he was decreasing his shoulder. However I’ve bought to study what that’s. … For us to lose Greenlaw off that for an entire sport, that basically shocked me.” 

Herbert needed to go away 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 discipline aim 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 bought again on monitor.

As an alternative, the 49ers got here out within the second half and managed the sport, holding Los Angeles scoreless the remainder of the best way and holding them to simply 52 yards of whole offense within the second half. 

“I used to be happy with our workforce in the present day,” Shanahan mentioned. “I wish to play higher. I wish to blow individuals out and rating each time we go, however that workforce is absolutely good at profitable, the Chargers. … However we nonetheless discovered a method to win.” 

Eric D. Williams has reported on the NFL for greater than a decade, masking 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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