The 49ers winning streak ground to a screeching halt versus the Seahawks, and one of the big question marks is why wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk wasn’t used more.
All good things must come to an end, and the San Francisco 49ers winning streak came to an end at the hands of old enemies in the Seattle Seahawks in a 30-23 defeat that was very much a case of what could have been for San Francisco.
One recurring problem for the Niners during the game was the lack of wide receiver Deebo Samuel, the multitalented player wasn’t able to take the field due to injury, and so the 49ers didn’t have a gadget player to help their offense move along.
Which is all the more confusing why receiver Brandon Aiyuk, who possesses qualities similar to Samuel that could be used in the event of the latter being out, wasn’t utilized as such.
The 49ers weren’t able to get the running game going against Seattle, with running back Elijah Mitchell gaining only 66 yards (and a touchdown) from 22 carries. Utilizing some jet sweeps, reverses and other trickery the Niners have at their disposal might have opened the running lanes some more and maybe even resulted in the game-ending play that ended in failure to succeed.
Aiyuk is certainly not as talented as Samuel to be a gadget player (who, if any, in the NFL are), but he has the attributes needed to succeed and has been used there in the past as well. It just seems unusual that the 49ers, who utilized the running game heavily in their four-game winning streak, didn’t try to replicate this.
The good news for San Francisco is Samuel will be back sooner rather than later, and the team can get back to what it does best. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is exploitable without a running game to help him out, and this was shown to full consequence against Seattle.
Hopefully, there won’t be any further problems with the running game to end the season, as the team needs it to have any chance of making an impact in the playoffs or to make it at all.