SF 49ers: Brandon Aiyuk and 3 other positives from loss to Saints

Brandon Aiyuk #11 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Brandon Aiyuk #11 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /
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Tarvarius Moore, Deonte Harris, SF 49ers, New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Deonte Harris (11) and San Francisco 49ers free safety Tarvarius Moore (33) Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports /

SF 49ers Takeaway No. 1: Tarvarius Moore needs to start

One of the things Kyle Shanahan wanted to do on defense was negate the receiving-threat prowess from Saints wide receivers Emmanuel Sanders and Michael Thomas.

To that extent, the SF 49ers succeeded. Sanders had one catch for 5 yards, while Thomas had only two for 27 yards. And in total, New Orleans had a mere 123 net passing yards, while quarterback Drew Brees was held to a season-low 76 first-half yards before exiting with a ribs injury at halftime.

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A big reason why was the Niners decision to insert backup defensive back Tarvarius Moore into the lineup to generate some much-needed speed within the secondary.

Moore was tied for the team lead in defensive snaps (59) along with linebacker Fred Warner and free safety Jimmie Ward, while the presumed starting strong safety, Marcell Harris, saw only 30. Linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair, who came out in favor of Moore, saw only one.

The third-year pro made his impact felt, too, registering four solo tackles and forcing a fumble during the game.

Getting Moore involved on a frequent basis should be one of San Francisco’s priorities for the rest of the season, as his combination of size and speed has proven to be a key factor in defending against some of the more elite offenses the team will face down the stretch.

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And while the end result wasn’t what SF 49ers fans wanted, at least Moore is becoming a rising contributor.