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Emmanuel Sanders may be a pretty accomplished wide receiver, but he’s found unconventional ways to contribute for the 49ers, including throwing a game-changing touchdown pass in the first half Sunday.
In perhaps the biggest play of a half filled with them, Sanders threw a 35-yard touchdown pass on a trick play that helped San Francisco grab a 28-27 halftime lead over the Saints.
Emmanuel Sanders so far:
-3 catches for 125 yards and a TD
-1 35-yard TD PASS
49ers vs. Saints is insane pic.twitter.com/UAZNGAIxns
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) December 8, 2019
Sanders’ perfect pass to Raheem Mostert midway through the second quarter marked his second unusual touchdown for the 49ers since being acquired from Denver in October. The 180-pounder earlier this season lined up as a fullback and caught a crucial TD pass against the Cardinals.
For his career, Sanders is now a perfect 3-for-3 for 78 yards and two touchdown passes. How’s that for a dual-threat receiver?
Sanders, who matched Jimmy Garoppolo with a perfect first-half passer rating, was also flawless as a receiver. He caught four passes for 132 yards from Garoppolo, including a career-high tying 75-yard scoring pass on the first play of the second quarter. Sanders won a battle for Garoppolo’s high, deep pass with Saints safety Marcus Williams, and both fell down on the play. Sanders quickly got up and beat a pair of Saints defenders the rest of the way for the score.
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) December 8, 2019
It marked his longest play since connecting on a 75-yard TD pass with Peyton Manning while with the Broncos on Oct. 18, 2015.
Early in the second half, Sanders and Garoppolo were involved in a 49ers turnover. Garoppolo’s pass glanced off Sanders’ outstretched hands and was intercepted by New Orleans linebacker Craig Robertson. It led to a New Orleans field goal.