5 matchups 49ers must win if they want to beat Seahawks in Week 13
By Peter Panacy
No. 4: 49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk vs. Seahawks CB D.J. Reed
They never totally got to know each other, as former 49ers cornerback D.J. Reed found himself claimed by the Seahawks after the Niners waived him with an injury designation early in 2019, meaning his one-on-one practices against then-rookie wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk were, well… limited.
Yet Reed has thrived with his new team, leading all Hawks cornerbacks with 54 tackles and also boasting an impressive five pass breakups.
With fellow wide receiver Deebo Samuel out of the lineup for Week 13 with a groin injury, the primary focus will be on Aiyuk, who has quietly emerged as a go-to receiving option during San Francisco’s recent hot streak.
Aiyuk had seven catches for 85 yards in Week 11’s win over the Jacksonville Jaguars before putting together a smooth three-catch, 91-yard effort in Week 12 over the Minnesota Vikings.
But Reed is less of a man-coverage defensive back, the kind against whom Aiyuk has had success, and more of a zone-cover defender.
That’ll be an interesting matchup to watch. And without Samuel, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Reed and Seattle’s defense hone in on Aiyuk as much as possible on Sunday.