Brandon Aiyuk is another receiver that the Miami Dolphins young secondary has to worry about.
Aiyuk leads the 49ers’ passing game with 51 receptions for 652 yards and six touchdowns. He is the go-to target for Jimmy Garoppolo when he isn’t dumping off to George Kittle.
The Dolphins will probably put Xavien Howard on Aiyuk Sunday. It would make more sense to try and shut down Aiyuk and combine a defensive strategy that will double Samuel with a concentration on McCaffrey.
If Howard does indeed play man-to-man on Aiyuk, the Dolphins’ corner should win this battle and force Garoppolo to look elsewhere for completions. A key will be the Dolphins’ front defensive line where pressure on Garroppolo will also help take away the threat of Aiyuk downfield. Forcing the 49ers QB into quick throws does favor the 49ers where both Samuel and McCaffrey excel.
The 49ers don’t boast a top WR unit outside of Aiyuk and Samuel. Jauan Jennings has only 24 receptions on the year and you have to go deep for the next WR, Ray-Ray McCloud who has only 11 receptions. But, the 49ers do have George Kittle.