After weeks of punishment from the football gods, Monday will undoubtedly mark the biggest reunion since the Falcon flew over Captain America’s left shoulder. Barring yet another gift from the year 2020, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and Raheem Mostert will all be on the field together for just the third time all year. How will the reunion affect the 49ers’ offense going forward? Levin Black and I decided to spend today’s episode of the Gold Standard Podcast figuring it out.
The first time those three guys were together was the game against the Dolphins, which was so horrific and depressing that I refuse to even discuss it beyond that point. The second game the trio played together was Week 6 against the Rams. In case you’ve forgotten, that week saw the Niners drop 24 points, 24 first downs, 38 minutes of time of possession, and touchdowns from both Deebo and Aiyuk on LA. Is it realistic to expect that week after week?
“They should be back to being a really good offense, even with Kittle and Jimmy Garoppolo out,” Levin said, “Those two weapons at receiver open the door, as does Mostert, to kind of open this offense up. They should be getting closer to that level of last year.”
As I’m sure we all remember, the 49ers had the second-highest scoring offense in the league last year at 29.9 points per game. A return to that level would give this year’s team around a touchdown more per game - which would put them in a battle with the Saints to be the fourth-highest scoring team in the league.
The possibilities for Kyle Shanahan are endless. If defenses are going to cheat up to stop the run, Aiyuk can take the top off the defense while simultaneously opening up the middle of the field for Deebo. If defenses try and take away the middle of the field, Mostert can attack the edges of the defense with stretch runs to the outside. Not to mention the speed sweeps and drop passes to either Samuel or Aiyuk. Oh, and Kendrick Bourne and Richie James at the other receiver spots, along with Jeff Wilson and Jet McKinnon behind Raheem. Honestly, it brings a Grinch-smile to my face just thinking about it.
And all that is without George Kittle.
I realize that all of this is contingent upon health, which has been in short supply this year, but even with Nick Mullens under center, we really could be looking at the best offense this franchise has seen since the nineties with Steve Young at the helm.
To hear more thoughts on what we should expect this week, as well as one potential quarterback issue the team could face before the end of the regular season, check out today’s Gold Standard podcast here or wherever you get such things to your earholes.