49ers Brandon Aiyuk needs to see more pass targets vs. Packers

Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /

Brandon Aiyuk was an afterthought in the 49ers passing game in Week 2, but that needs to change with a tough matchup against the Packers looming.

The San Francisco 49ers didn’t have it all their own way in Week 2, but you take any win where you can and that counts double when it comes to games on the road.

So while the 17-11 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles wasn’t the most inspired performance you’ll ever see from the red and gold, you’ll take it and look to next week.

And next week is a big game, as the Green Bay Packers are the next opponent for the Niners, a significant step up from the Eagles and the Detroit Lions from the first fortnight of the season.

One of the big mysteries is the disappearance of wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk from the offense in the first few weeks, given his dynamic talent. Aiyuk was unsighted in the first week and only had the one catch for 6 yards (off two targets) on Sunday.

It’s the most minimal improvement possible from the first week.

Some of this may be to do with the game itself, however. The running game never got going with essentially the entire running back depth chart banged up in Week 2, and head coach Kyle Shanahan was unable to get quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo going as a result with the Eagles able to focus on shutting down the pass.

Garoppolo did get better as the game went on, but with this being one of his quieter outings, the passing stats for everyone not named Deebo Samuel were minimal.

49ers will need Brandon Aiyuk to produce vs. Packers

Aiyuk has endured a horror start to his second season in the pros with an early injury knocking him down the depth chart, and an inability to rebound from that. But it’s undeniable he and Samuel are the two most talented wide receivers on the roster, and the Niners will need to lean on them heavily to help them take down a heavyweight like Green Bay.

With all the utmost respect to the Lions and the Eagles, they are not the Packers, a team many originally projected to be top contenders for the NFC Championship crown this season.

San Francisco will need to do more to get the win in Week 3.

Shanahan is a wizard when it comes to scheming plays. One of the utmost priorities for this week’s preparation should be finding ways to give Aiyuk the ball and get him going again. Run some jet sweeps, line him up at running back (they may need to do that out of necessity at this rate), scheme some screens for him to get some touches.

If Aiyuk can finally get his 2021 season going, the 49ers offense is going to be significantly better for it.

Next. 49ers vs. Eagles: 4 eye-popping stats that define Week 2 win. dark