Super Bowl player props: Brandon Aiyuk won’t be a big factor
Brandon Aiyuk averaged more than 6.5 targets per game this season, including playoffs, but he failed to reach four receptions in each of the 49ers past three games.
I dont expect him to buck the trends in the Super Bowl, because the Chiefs defense presents a brutal matchup.
Steve Spagnuolos unit is built on blitzing and man coverage.
Aiyuk struggles against man.
He had a 70.6 percent catch rate against zone coverage this year but just 63.6 percent against man.
If he gets matched up with LJarius Sneed who allowed just a 51.9 percent catch rate this season a top-20 mark among NFL cornerbacks Aiyuk really could struggle.
Sneed is tied for third in the NFL in forced incompletions (17) and ninth in pass breakups (10).
I expect Sneed on Aiyuk, as Id imagine the Chiefs put Trent McDuffie on Deebo Samuel in the slot.
Brandon Aiyuk #11 of the San Francisco 49ers runs downfield during the NFC Championship NFL football game against the Detroit Lions. Getty ImagesThe quarterback throwing the ball to Aiyuk, Brock Purdy, struggles against the blitz.
The Chiefs blitz 32.9 percent of the time, the seventh-highest percentage in the NFL, and Purdys completion rate drops about two percentage points against the blitz.
And if the Chiefs get home, thats bad news for Purdy and Aiyuk, as the second-year passers completion rate drops to a measly 54.6 percent under pressure.
Finally, I dont expect a pass-heavy script from the Niners, which would deflate Aiyuks opportunities further.
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The Chiefs are a bottom-five rush defense by DVOA, EPA per play allowed and success rate.
Theyre dead last in ESPNs run-stopping win-rate metric.
The Niners will keep it on the ground, Aiyuk wont stand a chance against Sneeds man coverage, and Purdy might not get the ball out under pressure.
Im betting it will be a tough game for Aiyuk.
The play: Aiyuk Under 4.5 receptions (-125, BetMGM).
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