49ers' endless line of offensive stars makes big plays as they pull away from Giants

When San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan goes to call a play, his biggest challenge isn't dialing up a play to get a first down. He can do that pretty easily. His concern is finding enough touches for all of his superstars.

Even on Thursday night when the 49ers were without receiver Brandon Aiyuk, the NFC's offensive player of the week in the season opener, it's not like they were lacking. George Kittle is one of the NFL's best tight ends. Deebo Samuel was an All-Pro a couple seasons ago. Christian McCaffrey scored in his 12th straight game including playoffs on Thursday night, tying a team record set by some old timer named Jerry Rice. Some of San Francisco's backups could start for other teams. It seems unfair, especially with how good San Francisco's defense is.

The 49ers were in a competitive game in the second half, but they were simply too talented for the Giants. Samuel, who had a big night with Aiyuk on the sideline with a shoulder injury, put the game away with a 27-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. The 49ers moved to 3-0 with a 30-12 win.

There are some teams who would love to have one alpha playmaker who could run through multiple defenders for bunches of extra yards. When Aiyuk is healthy, the 49ers have four of those players.

49ers offense has a good night

On the other side of the ball, the Giants missed Saquon Barkley. They struggled for any consistent offense without Barkley, who was out with an ankle injury. Score another one for valuing running backs.

The contrast was stark. Giants quarterback Daniel Jones was helpless without Barkley. If you prefer Kittle to Darren Waller, and most would, nobody in the Giants' skill-position group on Thursday night would start for the 49ers. It's not really a debate. Jones was held to 137 passing yards. The Giants had just 29 yards rushing.

With or without Barkley, the Giants might not have moved it much. They battled to stay in the game but the 49ers defense is tough. That's part of what makes them an elite team and a Super Bowl contender. There will be days when all the praise goes to them.

Thursday night was about San Francisco's offense. It didn't matter which 49ers player you started for your fantasy football team because they all helped out.

Shanahan is one of the game's best playcallers and everyone seems to get their turn. Kittle had his biggest game of the season with 90 yards. Samuel wowed everyone breaking tackles in the open field on his way to 129 yards. The 49ers also have arguably the greatest offensive tackle ever, Trent Williams, and he rarely gets mentioned in these discussions because of all the other stars.

Brock Purdy just has to get the ball to them on time. Plenty of NFL quarterbacks probably watched on Thursday night, wishing they had that kind of talent to work with.

Giants hung around into 2nd half

The Giants did battle hard. The game was tied 3-3 after one quarter. In the third quarter Matt Breida scored a touchdown and the Giants trailed 17-12. A two-point conversion would have pulled New York within three points, but the 49ers thwarted that. Still, the Giants were in the game.

That didn't last long. The 49ers got a couple of field goals to extend the lead. Then Purdy threw deep to Samuel, who made a nice adjustment down the sideline and pulled it in for a touchdown. It was 30-12 at that point and there wasn't much reason for the Thursday night audience to keep the game on.

It says something that the Giants didn't play that badly and they still lost by 18 points. It's hard to keep up with the 49ers. You can't take all their offensive weapons away, and even if you do, good luck scoring munch on their defense. The biggest question for the 49ers this season was whether Purdy could repeat his storybook rookie season, and he has been very good through three games.

The 49ers are a dangerous team. Good luck figuring out what their weakness is.

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