SF 49ers vs. Cowboys: Expect Brandon Aiyuk to go off in Week 15

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (11). Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (11). Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

The SF 49ers rookie wide receiver, Brandon Aiyuk, has made great strides in his first season.

For the SF 49ers, the 2020 season is pretty much over. Barring an albeit still-mathematical miracle, the Week 14 loss to the Washington Football Team has left the team in the quagmire and on the outside looking in.

Perhaps it’s to be expected. Given the Niners’ injuries, it was a testament to the players and the coaching that the SF 49ers were even in the running this late in the season, to begin with.

But before the season ends, there are three more games left for the team to play. One of these is against the hated Dallas Cowboys, who have their own problems and are ripe for a confidence-boosting win by San Francisco.

For this, the team will need to rely on rookie wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. The young receiver has been an absolute revelation as a rookie, justifying the faith shown in him when the SF 49ers took him in the first round in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Aiyuk has played just 10 of the 13 games for San Francisco but has still caught 50 passes for 660 yards and four touchdowns while adding another two touchdowns on the ground.

He has been impressive, simple as that. Arguably even more impressive than his wide receiver teammate Deebo Samuel, who himself had an impressive rookie year all the way up to a Super Bowl appearance.

But how can a player “go off” when he’s had two 100-plus yard games in the last five weeks? Well, I expect him to eclipse his career-best effort of 10 catches for 119 yards from last week.

With a touchdown.

It sounds lofty, but Aiyuk has gotten the trust of his teammates. Since Week 8, he’s had 31 percent of total targets on passing downs, has been responsible for 36 percent of the SF 49ers’ passing yardage and has had 25 percent of the red-zone targets.

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That is a simply staggering amount. Especially when you consider that he’s been doing a lot of this with a backup quarterback at the helm.

Not a lot may be going right for the 49ers in 2020, but one thing the fans can do for the final three games is sitting back and watching Aiyuk finish his rookie season in style, starting in Week 15 against the Cowboys.