Brock Purdy

Why Whitner believes 49ers' offensive stars are among all-time greats

NBC Universal, Inc.

The 2023 49ers have assembled an All-Star cast of skill-position players, but where exactly does their group rank historically?

If you ask NBC Sports Bay Area analyst Donte Whitner, the current group of 49ers offensive weapons is among the best the NFL has ever seen, with a chance to cement themselves as the greatest of all time if their explosive output this season results in a Super Bowl title.

"When I think about the greatest offensive playmaker groups in NFL history, some teams that come to mind is the Denver Broncos with John Elway, Shannon Sharpe, Ed McCaffrey, Rod Smith and Terrell Davis in the backfield," Whitner said while delivering "Hitner's Hot Take" following San Francisco's 28-16 win over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday at Levi's Stadium.

"Another team that comes to mind is the St. Louis Rams in the Greatest Show on Turf. Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk, Isaac Bruce [and] Tory Holt, I say this to say that if the 49ers continue to have the offensive production that they're currently having and they seal the deal by winning the Super Bowl this year, they're going to go down as the top offensive playmaking group in NFL history."

Whitner made his case for the 49ers' ensemble of weapons by breaking down the versatility offered by a star-studded cast that includes three All-Pro players and an MVP candidate at quarterback.

"Hear me out. You have Brandon Aiyuk, who just passed 1,000 yards and is continuing to ascend every week," Whitner explained. "Deebo Samuel, who's a utility player. He runs reverses, he runs sweeps, he can consistently get into the end zone, and does everything that this offense wants him to do.

"You have George Kittle, a multi-time Pro Bowler who's the number one blocker in the NFL and probably the second pass-receiving tight end currently in the league. And you have MVP candidates in Brock Purdy, who's very efficient with the football. He's anticipatory with his throws, he added a deep ball element to this offense, and then you finish it off with Christian McCaffrey, another MVP candidate in the backfield."

The former Pro Bowl player reiterated that a Super Bowl victory would vault this talented 49ers unit into immortals, forever securing their place in league history as the gold standard for offensive talent.

"And I'm gonna say it again; if the 49ers continue this offensive production and they win the Super Bowl this year, they go down as the number one offensive playmaking group in NFL history," Whitner declared.

San Francisco possesses an unparalleled embarrassment of riches on offense, with four different players on pace to shatter the 1,000 scrimmage-yard mark this season.

McCaffrey leads the NFL with 1,177 rushing yards and 17 total touchdowns and currently is on pace for 2,111 scrimmage yards this season.

Aiyuk's 126-yard performance in Sunday's win over the Seahawks gave the fourth-year wideout 1,053 receiving yards on the season, making him just the fifth player in franchise history to eclipse 1,000 receiving yards in consecutive campaigns.

Samuel shook off a slow start to the 2023 season by erupting for 288 scrimmage yards and five total touchdowns over the 49ers' last two games.

Kittle surpassed 6,000 career receiving yards on Sunday, becoming the fourth-fastest tight end to reach that milestone, trailing only Pro Football Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow Sr., Rob Gronkowski and Travis Kelce.

Purdy strengthened his MVP campaign with a career-high 368 passing yards against the Seahawks while becoming the fourth quarterback in NFL history to record a completion percentage of 70 or higher in seven consecutive games.

The 49ers are firing on all cylinders with the NFC playoffs on the horizon, averaging 32.4 points per game on their current five-game winning streak.

Download and follow the 49ers Talk Podcast

Contact Us