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Top 10 individual performances from ‘22: No. 10 - Brandon Aiyuk @ Atlanta Week 6

Aiyuk took one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL to school.

San Francisco 49ers v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

It’s that time of year again where I will be highlighting what I believe to be the ten most impressive performances from the 49ers 2022 season.

As a refresher, how did each performance hold up with the eye test. After going back and watching the game film, was it as impressive now as it was at the time?

I also weighed the game’s impact, meaning the stakes of each contest played a role in how these rankings ultimately panned out, and finally, good old-fashioned statistics. So while the eye test was the primary factor being weighed, I also made it a point to place enough emphasis on the objective numbers a player posted in their respective games.

So without further ado, let's kick off the list for the 2022 season with...

#10: Brandon Aiyuk Week 6 @ Atlanta

In a season where the 49ers won so much, it might seem odd that this list is starting out with a performance from one of the more disappointing results of the campaign. Despite going into Atlanta as favorites, the 49ers suffered what would be only their second double-digit loss of the season.

However unsatisfying the result may have been, this was still the setting for a noteworthy performance from Aiyuk. The 49ers offense only managed to put up 14 points in this game, and Aiyuk was on the receiving end of both of those touchdowns.

The 49ers only recorded 12 plays of 10+ yards in this game, and Aiyuk was responsible for five of those plays on his own. He also fared exceptionally well against a very tough assignment in A.J. Terrell, recording three catches for 35 yards and two touchdowns while the All-Pro cornerback was covering him.

He led all 49ers skill position players in this game with a 133.7 passer rating when targeted, as well as pacing the group in first downs with five. On a day when the majority of the team simply fell flat, Aiyuk flourished and flashed the immense potential he has as a bonafide number one option in the passing game.

His final stat line was eight catches for 83 yards and two touchdowns, on 11 targets. He also had an impressive 39 yard reception called back due to a holding penalty that negated the big gain.

While this wasn’t the highest yardage total that Aiyuk posted during the regular season, the reason it was the most impressive to me was because it was the game that really kick-started the breakout campaign that he put together in 2022.

Prior to this matchup with Atlanta, Aiyuk was averaging 47.4 yards per game. After this game in Atlanta, he recorded over 80 receiving yards in four consecutive games, the first time that he had accomplished that in his NFL career.

In a season that saw Aiyuk eclipse the prized 1,000 receiving yard mark for the first time, this was the game that really got him rolling. The carry over that continued into the following weeks played a pivotal role in the 49ers success, with Aiyuk being one of their most important players over the course of a very successful season.

I clipped each of his eight receptions from this game, and posted them in chronological order for your viewing pleasure.

1st & 10 @ SF 41

9-yard gain

1st & 10 @ ATL 41

12-yard gain

2nd & 5 @ ATL 12

12-yard touchdown reception

2nd & 9 @ ATL 14

14-yard touchdown reception

2nd & 4 @ SF 26

7-yard reception

2nd & 6 @ SF 38

4-yard gain

1st & 15 @ SF 7

11-yard gain

3rd & 12 @ SF 44

14-yard reception

Stay tuned for #9 on the list...