The 49ers’ MVP through four games is Deebo Samuel.
End of conversation.
Samuel put himself into position to take a major leap forward in the offseason, and his overall condition showed Sunday in Santa Clara on a scorching day at Levi’s Stadium.
The 49ers fell to the Seattle Seahawks, 28-21, but Samuel provided a bright spot.
Samuel was on the field for 68 of the 49ers’ 76 offensive plays. Quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance targeted him with 12 passes. He caught eight for 156 yards and a career-best two touchdowns.
Through the first four games of the season, Samuel leads the NFL with 490 receiving yards — the second most in franchise history behind Jerry Rice (522 in 1995) at this stage of the season.
Samuel also played an important role as he offered Lance encouragement after a difficult start to open the third quarter. Lance was called upon due to Garoppolo's calf injury.
“I kind of know what it feels like to be thrown out there,” Samuel said. “That is kind of what happened to me when I was a rookie, but you just have to go out there.
“Like I told him, I said, ‘You have to go out there and get that first drive out of the way. Go out there and be yourself — you know that we have your back.’ And that is what happened, as you can see. He made a couple plays for us and gave us a chance to come back in the game.”
Samuel caught a 76-yard touchdown pass from Lance late in the third quarter. The pair hooked up again late in the fourth quarter to pull the 49ers within a touchdown.
Samuel said he could tell that Lance settled into his game after some initial nerves.
“After being out there the first drive he calmed down and as you can see he is pretty good and mobile on his feet,” Samuel said. “As the play breaks down he is able to be a little mobile and move the ball for us.”
Lance, who played seven snaps in the first three weeks of the season, was on the field for 39 plays in the 49ers’ Week 4 game.
Here is a look at how much action each 49ers player saw on offense, defense and special teams:
Quarterback: Trey Lance 39, Jimmy Garoppolo 37
Running back: Kyle Juszczyk 62, Trey Sermon 39, Jacques Patrick 6, Trenton Cannon 1 Wide receiver: Deebo Samuel 68, Brandon Aiyuk 51, Mohamed Sanu 39, Trent Sherfield 22, Jauan Jennings 8
Tight end: George Kittle 70, Ross Dwelley 8, Charlie Woerner 6
Offensive line: Daniel Brunskill, 76, Laken Tomlinson 76, Mike McGlinchey 76, Alex Mack 75, Trent Williams 54, Jaylon Moore 22, Jake Brendel 1
Defensive line: Nick Bosa 39, Arik Armstead 38, Javon Kinlaw 31, D.J. Jones 28, Samson Ebukam 21, Maurice Hurst 20, Arden Key 18, Kentavius Street 17, Dee Ford 12
Linebacker: Azeez Al-Shaair 56, Fred Warner 56, Marcell Harris 33
Cornerback: Emmanuel Moseley 56, Dre Kirkpatrick 56, Dontae Johnson 23
Safety: Jimmie Ward 56, Jaquiski Tartt 56
Special teams: Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles 27, Talanoa Hufanga 27, Harris 25, Deommodore Lenoir 22, Woerner 22, Cannon 22, Dwelley 21, Tavon Wilson 17, Mitch Wishnowsky 13, Ambry Thomas 12, Johnson 12, Sherfield 11, Key 11, Patrick 10, Taybor Pepper 9, Juszczyk 9, Ward 9, Armstead 8, Jones 7, Aiyuk 6, Al-Shaair 5, Ebukam 4, Tom Compton 3, Buster Skrine 3, Brunskill 3, Tomlinson 3, McGlinchey 3, Sanu 3, Brendel 3, Kinlaw 3, Street 2, Samuel 1, Moseley 1, Warner 1, Bosa 1, Ford 1