How 49ers beat Seahawks without Deebo Samuel in the mix

Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

CBS. 4:25 p.m. ET. 6-5. 42. Sunday, Dec. 5. 3-8. 36. 49ers -3

It’s not an ideal situation, but the San Francisco 49ers can still beat the Seattle Seahawks without Deebo Samuel.

Let’s take a moment to appreciate the first San Francisco 49ers player to reach 1,000 receiving yards since 2014. It’s no small feat, and Deebo Samuel was able to surpass the milestone in 12 weeks.

Only the Los Angeles Rams’ Cooper Kupp, the Green Bay Packers’ Davante Adams, and the Minnesota Vikings’ Justin Jefferson have eclipsed more.

However, Samuel did it with only 50 receptions while the others had 67 catches or more. He also has 207 rushing yards on 25 carries. Samuel also averages 8.1 yards per carry and 18 yards per catch. The Niners’ offense is almost always looking at short-yardage situations, or big gains whenever he gets the ball.

San Francisco’s leading receiver will miss one to two weeks with a groin injury and provided an update:

A conversation throughout the 49ers Faithful has been the identity of the team. Early in the season, it seemed like head coach Kyle Shanahan was trying to push quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to do more than he’s possibly capable of. There was a lot of chatter about being “in the dog house” with receiver Brandon Aiyuk and rookie running back Trey Sermon.

And we can’t forget rookie quarterback Trey Lance.

Once Shanahan finally got back to the 2019 days of moving opposing defenses side-to-side before the snap, having multiple players crisscross seconds after the play starts and having a solid run-pass option, the conversation about identity wore off.

What’s the 49ers game plan for Week 13 vs. Seahawks?

Speaking of an identity crisis, Aiyuk was trying to figure out where he fit in early on.

In the team’s first meeting at Levi’s Stadium, Aiyuk had one reception for 15 yards. It wasn’t until the team visited the Chicago Bears that he finally became a focal point of the offense.

We know Aiyuk has Samuel’s athleticism. This is finally his time to shine in Week 13 when the Niners travel north to take on the 3-8 Seattle Seahawks. He can stand beside Garoppolo in the shotgun and hit the line of scrimmage to make a big play. We also know he can make the tough catches.

Related Story: 49ers must regret not re-signing Patriots Kendrick Bourne.

The question is, will Shanahan and Garoppolo get him involved early and often? If they want to win, this is a must.

The Hawks rank 31st in pass defense. They’ve given up 300 yards or more in the air on five occasions, including one to the 49ers.

It bodes well for Aiyuk to have a big game.

But the Seahawks also rank last in run defense. As we all know, the 49ers live and die on the run. When they tried to put the ball in Garoppolo’s hands early in the year, nothing worked. Now that they’re running the ball nearly 30 or more times per game, the offense is finally opening up.

Rookie runner Elijah Mitchell is coming into his own. Mitchell seemed to develop quicker than Sermon, and having Mitchell hit his stride against a weak Seahawks defense could be perfect for San Francisco.

With a healthy offensive line and two solid run blockers in tight end George Kittle and fullback Kyle Juszczyk, there’s no reason the 49ers can’t run all over the Seahawks and make another push for the playoffs.

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