49ers top play No. 6
Garoppolo and his new weapon Pettis connect for the 49ers’ first touchdown of the season in San Francisco’s sixth top play of 2018.
Shanahan and 49ers general manager John Lynch drafted Pettis in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft with the hope that the University of Washington product would develop into the Niners’ wideout of the future. But it didn’t take long for Pettis to show that he could be a Week 1 contributor to the team.
Pettis took advantage of his rookie status, and a lack of respect from Minnesota Vikings All-Pro safety Harrison Smith, who was overly aggressive on the play.
The Vikings’ defense showed a pre-snap zone look as cornerback Mike Hughes followed 49ers running back Alfred Morris when the veteran RB motioned to the outside. Pettis, who lined up tight to the formation in the slot, ran a dig route, which was Garoppolo’s first read.
Smith properly diagnosed Shanahan’s play call and attempted to jump the route just as Garoppolo was flushed from the pocket. With the play now broken, Smith expected Pettis to continue his route toward the line of scrimmage in order give his QB an easier target, but as we detailed in a 49ers Film Room article over the offseason, Pettis — who excels on broken plays — instead broke deep into the area vacated by the star safety.
Garoppolo, who was in perfect sync with Pettis, threw the ball where only his receiver could make a play. After catching the pass and dragging his feet in the back of the end zone as he went to the turf, Pettis recorded his first of what will hopefully be many touchdown receptions from Garoppolo: