SF 49ers: 3 silver linings from playoff-eliminating loss to Cowboys
By Peter Panacy
No. 2: SF 49ers have a true WR1 in Brandon Aiyuk
There have been some modest individual storylines San Francisco has enjoyed in an otherwise disappointing season, such as the resurgence of oft-injured cornerback Jason Verrett and EDGE Kerry Hyder in line to have a career-best season.
But none have been as exciting as the maturation of rookie wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, who took some necessary steps to get closer to a cherished franchise record: most receiving yards by a rookie, set originally by the Hall of Famer, Jerry Rice, with 927 back in 1985.
It took a while for Aiyuk to get going. Yet some highlight-reel plays, including this “reception” for an SF 49ers touchdown, helped the ASU product inch closer:
Aiyuk entered the game with 660 receiving yards, needing 267 to catch Rice’s mark.
While there were plenty of miscues by the Niners offense, Aiyuk still managed to pull down nine receptions for 73 yards with the touchdown, bringing his total in yards to 733 on the season.
That’s only 194 shy of Rice’s team-best record, and Aiyuk could end up eclipsing that in Week 17 against the Seattle Seahawks, who have allowed more pass yards than anyone else in the NFL this season.