YAC Bros should go off when 49ers face Cardinals on Monday

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) and wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (11) Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) and wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (11) Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

Monday, Nov. 21. 32. 8:15 p.m. ET. 5-4. ESPN. 4-6. 49ers -8. 42

The 49ers could beat the Cardinals on Monday Night Football for a number of reasons, but yards after the catch is easily one to pay attention to.

The San Francisco 49ers hold a number of distinct advantages over their Week 11 opponent on Monday Night Football, the Arizona Cardinals.

One could argue the Niners have far more playmakers on offense, although Arizona wide receivers Marquise Brown and DeAndre Hopkins are dangerous. San Francisco does have the superior defense, and the “home” crowd at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City where the game is to be played is skewing heavily in San Francisco’s favor.

All of that likely plays into the 49ers being eight-point favorites, according to WynnBET. Yet there’s another X-factor at play that works heavily in favor of head coach Kyle Shanahan’s squad.

Yards after the catch.

49ers ‘YAC Bros’ to dominate Cardinals on Monday Night Football

Shanahan’s offense is largely predicated on yards after the catch, or “YAC,” as it has otherwise become known. And this is how the Niners’ top two wide receivers, Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, have largely made names for themselves by picking up chunk yards after the catch, which is a must when considering quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo isn’t quite known for having the strongest arm.

Well, it’s worked so far, and San Francisco leads the NFL in YAC per reception, as shared by The Athletic’s David Lombardi, who also pointed out how Arizona is the worst at giving up YAC, too:

In total, the Cardinals have given up an average of 5.7 yards per play this season, which is about in the middle of the pack. However, with regard to overall yards after the catch, no team has given up more than Arizona’s 1,535 YAC over 10 games played.

It’s something ESPN’s Nick Wagoner pointed out when breaking down this primetime matchup for Monday night:

"Bold prediction: The 49ers will have at least 230 yards after the catch. The highest output by a team this season was the 229 YAC the Broncos had in Week 1 against the Seahawks. But this matchup skews heavily in favor of the Niners’ ability to stress Arizona’s tackling. Entering this week, San Francisco is fourth in the league in YAC per game and first in YAC per reception. Meanwhile, the Cardinals’ defense allows the most YAC per game and YAC per reception in the NFL."

Related Story: Best prop best for 49ers-Cardinals on Monday Night Football

What makes this even more notable is the fact Estadio Azteca sits at roughly 7,200 feet above sea level, and the high elevation is almost always more taxing on NFL defenses.

That only reinforces the likelihood of Samuel and Aiyuk, the wide receiving YAC Bros., having themselves a standout game when Monday night rolls around.

The 49ers and Cardinals kick off on Monday, Nov. 21 at 8:15 p.m. ET.

Next. 10 superstars 49ers could have drafted but unwisely didn't. dark