2. Nick Mullens has been a pleasant surprise for the 49ers coming up from the practice squad after Jimmy Garoppolo and CJ Beathard went down with injuries. Is head coach and quarterback whisperer Kyle Shanahan the real secret sauce for that 49ers offense? What can the Bears expect from the Niners offense on Sunday?
San Francisco 49ers
It took Shanahan a long time to give Mullens a shot under center after Garoppolo’s injury, but Beathard’s turnover-prone play eventually forced Shanahan’s hand. Shanahan is the key to the 49ers’ offensive success, but whatever he was whispering into Beathard’s ear wasn’t working, as the QB’s “injury” was merely used as an excuse for Shanahan to bench his 2017 third-round draft pick.
The Bears can expect the Niners to rest or limit the action of most of their veterans in order to see what their younger players have to offer. This means most fans may not be familiar with a lot of the players who take the field on Sunday, but that doesn’t mean they can’t play.
The 49ers have improved since they made the decision to test their younger crop of players, who continue to demonstrate their development each week. Expect a run-heavy attack combined with play-action with the intention of giving the 49ers’ playmakers the chance to run after the catch, as San Francisco currently leads the NFL in yards after the catch per reception.