2. Brandon Aiyuk will pace the 49ers passing offense
Deebo Samuel has been ruled out for Monday’s game with a shoulder injury, but the 49ers still have several ways to hurt the Vikings through the air, and Brandon Aiyuk should be the biggest beneficiary.
Aiyuk has been the most consistent receiver in the 49ers offense, leading the team with 454 yards and two touchdowns despite missing one game. While Samuel has been the more explosive threat, Aiyuk has been effective, generating a career-high 64.9 percent success rate, according to Pro Football Reference.
That’s a bad omen for a Vikings defense that ranks toward the bottom of the league in man (43.1 percent) and zone (44.0 percent) coverage this season. In addition, PFF has given Aiyuk a top-five receiving grade against both types of coverage this season.
With George Kittle also lurking, the Vikings will have plenty to worry about even if Samuel misses Monday’s game. That could lead to big things for Aiyuk and a giant headache for Brian Flores.