No. 3: 49ers sorely miss Deebo Samuel
It shouldn’t be too big a surprise the 49ers’ hottest player during their previous three-game win streak was wide receiver Deebo Samuel, whose absence versus the Seahawks because of a minor groin injury was notably felt.
Both the Hawks and the Niners’ Week 11 opponent, the Jacksonville Jaguars, have been faring well against the run as of late, and Seattle entered Week 13 averaging just 3.9 rush yards against.
One way San Francisco was able to negate a similar defensive output against the Jags was to let Samuel emerge as a key run threat, taking pressure off Jimmy Garoppolo and the passing game while also forcing the defense to go sideline to sideline.
This was notably missing from the 49ers’ offensive efforts at Seattle.
The Niners were able to rush for only 71 yards in the game, averaging just 2.8 yards per carry, while fellow wideout Brandon Aiyuk failed to emerge as a key go-to option, although tight end George Kittle managed 181 yards and two touchdowns.
Still, this point is magnified by the first takeaway, as it was clear San Francisco’s offense couldn’t muster much consistency after the opening scripted plays ran out.
Getting Samuel back is a must.