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The 49ers' offense had a great day against the Bengals, but no one stood out more than tight end George Kittle. In a game where San Francisco rushed for over 250 yards, Kittle stood out as the team's most dominant run blocker, sealing the edge of zone plays time and again to give the 49er backs plenty of outside space to take advantage of. He also contributed as a receiver, catching all three passes thrown his way for a total of 54 yards.
Rookie wide receiver Deebo Samuel led the 49ers in targets, receptions, and receiving yards, hauling in five of seven targets for 87 yards and a touchdown. He carried the ball twice as a rusher and was also the recipient of two screen passes due to his elusiveness and forced missed tackles as both a rusher and receiver. His performance was marred only be a drop late in the second quarter.
Linebacker Kwon Alexander was a playmaker in coverage, showing great instincts and athleticism. He had a diving pass defense in his zone, as well as an interception where he stuck to Tyler Eifert like glue running a corner route.
Richard Sherman was dependable as always, surrendering no big plays on the day and showing good tackling ability in the open field. He ran stride for stride with speedster John Ross on one deep ball which resulted in an incompletion.
Samuel showed off great yards-after-the-catch ability in this one. He should see his role increase even further moving forward.
The Cincinnati defense struggled as a unit, but Geno Atkins was in top form, giving the 49ers fits as both a pass-rusher and run defender. Atkins' power was on display all day, as he regularly forced 49ers linemen deep into the backfield to disrupt rushing lanes and pressure Jimmy Garoppolo. San Francisco was twice penalized for holding Atkins, an indication of how dominant he was when facing one-on-one blocks.
Four-year veteran cornerback William Jackson III was rarely targeted on the day and flashed his coverage skills early in the second quarter when he intercepted a pass from Jimmy G. However, Jackson and his fellow defensive backs failed to do much when San Francisco targeted the perimeter with screen passes or with the running game. The struggles of Cincinnati's secondary were a big factor is the 49ers' rushing success.
John Ross had a quiet day for most of the game until garbage time when he caught pass and took it 66 yards to the house, leaving several 49ers defenders in his dust. He was targeted earlier in the game on a go route, but Richard Sherman went stride for stride with him on the incompletion, and Ross also had a drop on a pass at the line of scrimmage.
Andy Dalton was conservative throughout the game, and he wasn't particularly accurate when he did push the ball downfield. He seemed indecisive when forced to go through reads and made some poor decisions resulting in turnover-worthy plays.
Michael Jordan struggled in both pass protection and the run game against San Francisco. The rookie Ohio State product has had a rough start to his NFL career through two weeks.