The San Francisco 49ers lost a tough one at Tennessee on Thursday night. But their gifted wide receiver continues to make an impact.
It proved to be a rough evening for Kyle Shanahan’s club on Thursday evening at Nashville. The San Francisco 49ers would squander a double-digit lead against the Tennessee Titans and dropped to 8-7 via a heartbreaking 20-17 setback.
The Niners’ defense limited their hosts to 55 yards in the first half but allowed 223 total yards and 20 points in the final two quarters. A pair of interceptions by quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo certainly didn’t help the team’s cause.
The brightest spot in the prime time loss did not reach the end zone. But wide receiver Deebo Samuel continues to impress and is enjoying a career year for Kyle Shanahan’s club. He ran the ball five times for 32 yards. He was targeted 11 times and hauled in nine passes for 159 yards, including a key 56-yard gain in the fourth quarter.
His impact on the 49ers’ offense has been simply sensational in 2021. The three-year pro leads the team in numerous categories, including total touchdowns (12) receptions (70), receiving yards (1,247), and total combined yards (1,623). He’s touched the ball as a runner, receiver, and kickoff return artist this season.
Of course, there were hints of what Samuel was capable of during his rookie campaign. A second-round pick in 2019 from the University of South Carolina, he played in 15 games (11 starts) and finished with 961 total yards from scrimmage and six total touchdowns – three receiving and three rushing.
Who knows what will happen if the Niners make their way into the playoffs for the second time in three years? They have proven performers in defensive end Nick Bosa (team-high 15.0 sacks) and linebacker Fred Warner (team-high 114 tackles). And you can add Samuel to that list. He’s done just about everything for Shanahan’s club during this unpredictable season.