The San Francisco 49ers are one victory away from the Super Bowl. They will need to defeat the Los Angeles Rams for the third time this season to get there. It won’t be easy, but the good news for the 49ers is that wide receiver Deebo Samuel is having a career season and has been a headache for opposing defense. The wide receiver-running back hybrid has worked wonders in Kyle Shanahan’s offense and has become a force in the running game as of late.
Samuel’s skillset is one-of-a-kind, and Hall of Fame WR Cris Carter hit the 49ers sensation with an interesting comparison.
Deebo Samuel is a mixture of Percy Harvin and Anquan Boldin according to Cris Carter
That is an interesting combination of talents courtesy of Carter, who knows a thing or two about talented wide receivers.
This season, Samuel has exploded onto the scene as Shanahan and company have figured out the perfect way to use him.
Carter wasn’t the only former NFL player to compare Samuel to Boldin, either.
Boldin’s physicality is similar to that of Samuel, and Harvin’s shiftiness and elusiveness as a runner are exactly what Samuel has put on display so well this season.
Unfortunately, it didn’t work out for too long for Harvin in the NFL, although he did set a Super Bowl record — one that was broken by Samuel back in 2020.
The comparison is certainly valid, especially with the improbable season the 49ers star has put together.
The 49ers’ secret weapon has posted eye-popping numbers in 2021
Shanahan loves to run the football. Mike McDaniel, the 49ers offense coordinator, was even the running game coordinator before being promoted.
But, the 2021 season has been marvelous for Samuel.
The 49ers’ secret weapon has posted career highs in every category during the regular season with six receiving touchdowns, eight rushing scores, 365 yards on the ground, and 1,405 receiving yards on 77 catches. San Francisco has figured out the perfect way to utilize him, and Carter’s Harvin-Boldin combination has been tremendous.
Samuel even tossed a touchdown pass against the Rams in Week 18.
What can’t he do?
The 49ers will need another huge performance from Samuel, who has torched the Rams in both meetings in 2021
As the 49ers prepare to face the Rams for the third time, Samuel is arguably the most important player on the sideline.
In the two meetings against LA this season, Samuel has worked his magic — and Sean McVay has not had an answer thus far.
Can Samuel replicate that success and help push San Francisco to a Super Bowl?
He’s registered 10 carries in each of the first two playoff games, including a 72-yard, one-touchdown performance against the Dallas Cowboys. His usage in the passing game has declined, although Jimmy Garoppolo hasn’t needed to throw many passes during San Francisco’s playoff run.
Nonetheless, Samuel will need to have a huge game to get a third win against the Rams and get back to the Super Bowl.
Can the Boldin-Harvin combination come out with everything on the line?
If so, the 49ers will be right back in LA in a couple of weeks for Super Bowl LVI.
Stats Courtesy of Pro Football Reference