The 49ers' offense has gone to a whole new level since acquiring veteran receiver Emmanuel Sanders from the Broncos for two future draft picks.
Sanders came to San Francisco on Oct. 22, five days before the 49ers' Week 8 matchup against the Panthers. He caught a touchdown in his team debut, and the 49ers scored 51 points. Not a bad start.
Since adding Sanders to the offense, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has completed 70.4 percent of his pass attempts for 1,931 yards, 18 passing touchdowns and only five interceptions the last seven games. It's safe to say the QB enjoys having a sure-handed receiver. Sanders has 28 receptions for 407 yards receiving and three touchdowns.
While Garoppolo and Sanders have found an instant connection, the trade clearly benefitted a 49ers rookie, too. Fellow receiver Deebo Samuel has seen his numbers soar in recent weeks.
Samuel ranks 10th in the NFL in receptions (32) since the trade and ninth in yards (472). He also has scored three touchdowns -- two receiving and one rushing.
The 49ers trading for Emmanuel Sanders helped Deebo Samuel more than anyone. Since the trade, Deebo is 10th in the NFL in receptions and ninth in yards. He has the third-most yards after the catch, and has forced more missed tackles than anyone.— KP 🏁 (@KP_Show) December 9, 2019
The 49ers' second-round pick from last April's draft is one of four just rookie wideouts to have at least 600 receiving yards. He has 640 on the year, but his only two games with over 100 yards receiving have come after the Sanders trade.
Coach Kyle Shanahan finally has a trio of receivers he can trust in Sanders, Samuel and second-year pro Kendrick Bourne. With Sanders on board, Samuel now is a dangerous No. 2 who teams sometimes forget about, but have to fear.
Despite the 49ers adding Sanders, Samuel has seen his targets go up the last seven weeks. Samuel was averaging 4.4 targets per game before the trade, and now is seeing an average of 6.4 targets per game.
The rookie receiver surely is taking notes watching the veteran, and the two have formed a duo that opposing teams can't take lightly.