Offense 49ers travel to Broncos Land with a tough test against a Denver defense that has allowed only 26 points through two games. With key players like Justin Simmons out and Pat Surtain potentially in the secondary, the Broncos will be relying heavily on their pass rush group that includes Bradley Chubb and Randy Gregory.
With a familiar face back at the center, here are five 49ers to watch Sunday night against the Broncos:
QB Jimmy Garoppolo
The more things change, the more they stay the same. So despite an off season full of rumors and rumblings and a quarterback change here, we’re behind Jimmy Garoppolo as the starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. Garoppolo stepped in against Seattle last week after Trey Lance went down with a season-end ankle injury and threw 154 yards and a touchdown on 21 attempts, adding a win to that all-important quarterback win statistic.
RB Marlon Mack and RB Jordan Mason
Quarterback isn’t the only position with the next man-up mentality on the 49ers offense. Of the six (including fullback Kyle Juszcyzk) falling back from the initial roster of 53, the 49ers have just three ready for Sunday night in Denver.Read:Raiders vs Titans: Week 3 offensive snaps in Tennessee loss
With Tyrion Davis-Price out in the coming weeks with a high ankle sprain, the 49ers took veteran Marlon Mack off their practice squad. Jeff Wilson will get the majority of the carries but will use Kyle Shanahan Mack, who’s been with the team for a few weeks, or Jordan Mason, who’s been on the run for the first two weeks but hasn’t seen an offensive snap yet, to cast the spell be behind Wilson?
WR Danny Gray
When the 49ers pulled Gray with the 105th pick in April, the thought was that it would be used to stretch the field vertically for Trey Lance’s big arm. Now with Garoppolo as the starter, the vertical play will probably be used less, so where is Gray? After a healthy scratch in Week 1, Gray was targeted twice for just seven offensive snaps. Both goals came with Jimmy Garoppolo as quarterback, including a shot from about 40 yards downfield. Gray may not see the most snaps on Sunday, but if he does see a few, how will he be used in an attack where the majority of his passes will now be in the short and medium range?Read:Lamar Jackson to Patriots chatter heating up, following Bill Belichick’s contract comment
LG Aaron Banks
Banks has been solid on the left this season, where he was a bit of a stranger going into the second season of his career. After allowing pressure twice in Week 1 against Chicago, Banks allowed pressure only once against Seattle. His three presses allowed players like All-Pro guards Joel Bitonio and Quenton Nelson to make a match, and while it’s a small sample of just two games, it’s a good group to play with. With so many questions about the 49ers’ attack line, especially the interior, Banks’ good play early on was an encouraging sign for the attack.