There are non-quarterbacks who’ve had large impacts on their groups within the NFL this season.
- Cooper Kupp caught 145 passes for 1,947 yards and 16 touchdowns for the Los Angeles Rams.
- For the Indianapolis Colts, Jonathan Taylor touched the ball 372 occasions, totaling 2,171 yards from scrimmage and 20 touchdowns.
- Najee Harris is the Pittsburgh Steelers’ main rusher with 307 carries for 1,200, however the rookie can be their second-best cross catcher. He totaled 74 receptions on the season, trailing solely the Steelers prime large receiver, Diontae Johnson, and his 110 receptions.
Deebo Samuel will not be requested to hold the offensive load for the San Francisco 49ers the identical method that’s required of the aforementioned offensive workhorses. His 136 complete touches are lower than Kupp’s reception complete. Nevertheless, it’s what Samuel does with these touches that’s had the 49ers on a tear within the second half of the season and made them a authentic menace within the NFC playoffs.
Consider Samuel as Ty Montgomery with rockets in his cleats. At Stanford, Montgomery was a wonderful large receiver, however he was so athletic that he was additionally used within the backfield. He carried the ball 23 occasions as a senior. The Inexperienced Bay Packers drafted him, and in his second season they misplaced so many operating backs to harm that they used Montgomery at that place not as a wrinkle to their offense, however as a necessity as a result of they didn’t have anybody else.
That season Montgomery carried the ball 77 occasions for 457 yards and three touchdowns, and likewise caught 44 passes for 348 yards in the course of the common season. He was a key contributor within the playoffs, as effectively, because the Packers superior to the NFC Championship Sport. Montgomery presently performs for the New Orleans Saints and has not had a season practically that productive since.
Or may he be a brand new Slash, paying homage to when Kordell Stewart combined in some QB/WR and no matter else the Steelers wanted at any given time? Deebo is like a new-age Slash as he’s legitimately taking part in two positions.
Samuel carried the ball 59 occasions for the 49ers this season and is their chief in speeding touchdowns (8). He averaged 6.2 yards per carry and if it seems like he will get a primary down each time the 49ers hand him the ball, that’s due to these 59 carries, 21 of them resulted in a primary down.
It may be so jarring to see Samuel be that profitable within the backfield that it may be forgotten that he may really be one of the best large receiver within the NFL. He caught 77 passes, which is lower than half of Kupp’s complete, and he nonetheless totaled 1,405 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns. Samuel averaged a whopping 18.2 yards per reception and led all large receivers in common yards after the catch (10.4), and your complete league in yards after contact (387.)
This previous Sunday, Samuel saved the season for the 49ers. They needed to beat the Los Angeles Rams to advance to the playoffs and have been down 17-3 at halftime. Samuel ran in a 16-yard landing on the Niners’ opening drive within the third quarter, after which on their subsequent drive he threw a 24-yard landing cross, as a result of why not throw your first NFL landing cross in crucial sport of the season.
Within the fourth quarter, after the 2 minute warning, the 49ers had a 0.4 % win likelihood, the lowest-ever recorded by a successful crew since Subsequent Gen Stats started protecting observe of that in 2016. When the 49ers had the ball on their very own 26-yard-line with 50 seconds and no timeouts remaining, it was Samuel’s 43-yard catch that bought them inside L.A.’s 20-yard-line. The Niners tied the sport two performs later with a landing.
That’s the sort of playmaking that may trigger sleepless nights for the Cowboys defensive coaches. They’ve the second-best protection within the NFL, per Soccer Outsiders, however the Rams have the fifth, and Samuel shredded them in crucial moments of the sport.
Samuel doesn’t have the whole statistical manufacturing of Kupp, and undoubtedly not of Taylor within the operating sport, however that’s what makes his 2021 season so particular. Samuel and the 49ers used his athleticism and sort out breaking capability 136 occasions this season to attempt to break video games. An awesome passer could make a protection nervous and uneasy on the sphere, however a game-breaker like Samuel who can rating from wherever at any time. He can terrify a protection.
There isn’t a one like him within the NFL, and for any crew that faces the 49ers within the playoffs has to discover a option to restrict his affect, or else this game-breaker may break their season.