SF 49ers have playmakers everywhere on offense, so there’s no excuse for failing to involve them wherever possible
With the emergence of rookie wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, the SF 49ers hopefully have their WR1 for the future, and he’s played 189 out of his 226 snaps lined up out wide.
This should allow second-year wideout Deebo Samuel to continue to play in the slot, with tight end George Kittle, fullback Kyle Juszczyk and running back Raheem Mostert all providing mismatches in the passing and running game, and there won’t be any excuse for Jimmy Garoppolo, or whoever the quarterback is, to not get the ball in the hands of these playmakers.
San Francisco 49ers
Yes, this does also mean Kyle Shanahan needs to call plays that will do that, particularly that 4th-and-2 touchdown pass from Garoppolo to Kittle against the Rams that went for 44 yards. But with Shanahan wanting to run the ball more, and with his array of screens, play-action plays, jet sweeps and reverses, there won’t be a shortage of plays that can get the ball in the hands of the playmakers with ease.
What will help Kittle more is Aiyuk.
Aiyuk has been getting open consistently and creates vertical separation with ease. Fans recall the impact the trade for now-New Orleans Saints wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders had for Kittle and Samuel last season. Aiyuk should have the same, if not a bigger impact for Kittle.
Having Aiyuk line up out wide, him being a difference-maker and deep threat, allows Samuel to operate just like he did last season, with a wide receiver to take the burden off of him. Aiyuk got open consistently against the Dolphins and their extremely talented corners, and he acted as a great decoy versus Los Angeles, opening things up for a six-catch, 66-yard, one-touchdown performance from Samuel.
Aiyuk’s route running and releases are scary for a rookie, and with more consistent and better quarterback play, he’s not far away from his first 100-yard game.
The SF 49ers have the weapons and personnel, as well as the coaches, to turn this season around and make another run at the Super Bowl despite the 3-3 start. That is the aim of every franchise at the start of the year.
Why should that change for the Niners after just six weeks when they have three wins and haven’t come close to playing their best ball?