Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports


How the 49ers’ offense will overcome the loss of Deebo Samuel

Oct 27, 2020 at 11:02 AM0


On Monday, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan announced that wide receiver Deebo Samuel will likely miss the next two games while he recovers from a hamstring injury that occurred in the 4th quarter of the 49ers victory over the New England Patriots. The loss of Samuel is a devastating blow to a 49er offense that looked like it was beginning to fire on all cylinders after impressive performances in back to back weeks. Finding a way to fill the void left behind by Samuel is imperative as the 49ers face the already daunting task of taking on the Seahawks and Packers in back to back weeks, as both teams sit at 5-1 and at the tops of their respective divisions. Samuel has such a unique skill set that it will be hard for any one player on his own to replicate what Samuel brings to the table, which is why the 49ers' best shot at replacing his production will be through a group effort.

Over the last two weeks, Samuel has had 15 touches on offense, both carrying and catching the football, demonstrating the flexibility Shanahan covets so much in his offensive playmakers. Luckily the 49ers have another highly versatile player on the offensive side of the ball in fullback Kyle Juszczyk, who has the capability to line up all over the field. While he primarily lines up in the backfield, Juszczyk has also logged snaps this season out wide as well as in the slot. Juszcyzk has the talent to be an effective receiver, particularly when he lines up in the backfield in a tight formation that leads the defense to believe the 49ers will be running the ball. Since the start of the 2019 season, the 49ers are 8-1 when Juszcyzyk has at least 15 receiving yards, including their last game in Seattle when Juszczyk lined up in the slot and beat a linebacker deep for a 49-yard reception. Juszczyk has also shown his value as a ball carrier in the red zone, scoring two touchdowns on the ground over the last three games, displaying the tremendous versatility he brings to this offense.

The recent emergence of 2019 first-round pick Brandon Aiyuk has given an offense that was starved for production from the wide receiver position early in the season a significant boost. Aiyuk is coming off an impressive game against the Patriots that saw him record 6 catches for 115 yards, his first game eclipsing 100 receiving yards in the National Football League. Aiyuk possesses a very similar skillset to Samuel as both have an exceptional knack for racking up yards after the catch. That explosiveness translates well to the run game as well, where Aiyuk has already recorded two rushing touchdowns and shown the ability to run the jet sweep and reverses that Samuel has excelled at. While Aiyuk isn't the physical runner that Samuel is (you would be hard-pressed to find another wide receiver who is), he does have a bit more agility to his game, which has been apparent when he has gotten into open space. I fully expect Aiyuk to have an increased workload and to see an uptick in the number of pre-snap motions and gadget plays to make up for the touches Samuel would normally receive.

And last but certainly not least, the 49ers have the ultimate weapon in the form of All-Pro tight end George Kittle, who does a little bit of everything for this offense. Kittle has already gained respect amongst his colleagues as one of, if not the best blocking tight ends in the game, but he has also been a yards-after-the-catch machine in his time as a 49er, averaging 7.6 yards after the catch over the course of his career. Kittle's ability to combine speed and toughness to bowl over opposing defenders is probably the closest skill set to the one that Samuel brings to this offense, as we have seen Kittle's eye-popping speed in the open field as well as his dominating physicality making him a nightmare for opposing defenders to bring down. Additionally, Kittle has shown the ability to run with the football on jet sweeps, causing opposing defenses to have to account for him when he motions pre-snap and respect the 6.1 yards per carry he has averaged in his career running the football. Kittle is as complete of a football player as you will find at the NFL level, and his broad skill set and willingness to do whatever the team asks of him is a luxury that you cannot put a price on.

The loss of Samuel will sting, but the 49ers possess the depth and talent to tread water on offense till he returns. In the two games he is expected to miss, the 49ers will face a Seahawk team that is ranked dead last in total defense, and a Packers team that has shown some vulnerability defending the pass, as it currently ranks 18th in the league in pass yards allowed per game. Next man up has been the motto of the 2020 season for the 49ers, and as long as Shanahan is calling plays for this offense it will have a chance to put up points no matter who the opponent is.
The views within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


0 Comments

  • No Comments

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



New 49ers OC Mike McDaniel explains the thinking behind a Kyle Shanahan offense

By David Bonilla
Mar 1, 2021

Before landing with the San Francisco 49ers, the longest Mike McDaniel had spent with an NFL team was three years. That came with the Houston Texans between 2006 and 2008. That's also where he started working with Kyle Shanahan. Then-Texans head coach Gary Kubiak gave Shanahan his first shot as a position coach and McDaniel his first shot as a paid assistant. Then Kubiak threw the two in a room together. That's where the relationship started, McDaniel shared with NBC Sports Bay Area. The two went on to work together in Washington, Cleveland, and Atlanta. Shanahan built so much trust in McDaniel that he brought the assistant to San Francisco when Shanahan was named the head coach in 2017. McDaniel has been with the 49ers since — his longest tenure with one



49ers among teams that already met with Oregon State RB Jermar Jefferson

By David Bonilla
Feb 18, 2021

According to Justin Melo of The Draft Network, the San Francisco 49ers are among several teams that have already met with Oregon State running back Jermar Jefferson. The others are the New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers, New York Jets, and Indianapolis Colts. Oregon State RB Jermar Jefferson has recently met virtually with the #49ers, #Patriots,



'He won't be an elite quarterback': PFF lists 49ers with 'high' QB need due to Jimmy Garoppolo's shortcomings

By David Bonilla
Feb 19, 2021

We have just one sample of a full season with Jimmy Garoppolo as a starter. During that 2019 season, the quarterback led the San Francisco 49ers to 13 regular-season wins and a playoff run ending with a Super Bowl appearance. Outside of that, Garoppolo was a backup in New England and has battled to stay on the field due to injuries in San Francisco. Anthony Treash of Pro Football Focus recently ranked every NFL team's quarterback situation by need. After all, the quarterback can be the most important position on a team, and those that have elite ones can have longer championship windows. The 49ers fell under "high" for quarterback need, which within this ranking means the current starter



49ers the most likely to go from worst to first in 2021, says Gil Brandt

By David Bonilla
Feb 19, 2021

NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt took a look at the eight most-likely candidates to go from worst to first and enjoy a Washington Football Team-type turnaround during the 2021 season. Washington won just three games in 2019 and then increased that total by four in 2020. Seven victories aren't overly impressive, but in a season during which the NFC East was downright awful, it was enough to earn the division crown. At the top of Brandt's ranking are the San Francisco 49ers. Kyle Shanahan's squad was in the Super Bowl just over a year ago, but injuries devastated the roster, and the depth chart was transformed by Week 2, resulting in just six wins. Then


Featured

More by Jordan Elliott

More Articles

Share 49erswebzone