Deep into the second quarter on Monday’s clash between the Rams and 49ers, Deebo Samuel took flight.
The do-it-all wideout soared high to snag a ball that appeared to sail on Niners QB Jimmy Garoppolo.
Then, he found open grass. Samuel veered to his right, evading numerous would-be tacklers before meeting All-Pro corner Jalen Ramsey in space.
Samuel proceeded to toss Ramsey to the side like a child’s toy, finding pay dirt in the most aesthetically pleasing of ways. 57 yards to the house in the blink of an eye.
DEEBO WAS RUNNINNNNN
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers)
“Every time I get a chance to get the ball in my hands, that’s just my mentality, of trying to make it a big play,” Samuel said after the game. “It’s just second nature to me right now.”
It was the highlight of an otherworldly performance by Samuel, yet another impressive display in a career increasingly filled with them.
The stats are eye-watering. Lined up against one of the league’s toughest defenses, Samuel made six catches for 115 yards and a score. His highlight reel TD was the sixth of his career against the Rams, a team that has undergone a defensive renaissance since around the time Samuel entered the league.
Samuel’s showcase was so impressive, even Peyton Manning took notice. The Hall of Famer paid Samuel the ultimate compliment during Monday’s night’s Manningcast:
Peyton Manning breaks down Deebo’s huge TD 💨
— ESPN (@espn)
“Are you kidding me, how good is this guy?”
Peyton is in awe of Deebo 🤩
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL)
It wasn’t just Deebo’s pass-catching that stood out during the game, though. It was his overall gravity on the field. Brandon Aiyuk, Kyle Jusczyzk and Jauan Jennings were all able to carve up decent yardage at different points in Monday’s game. Given the amount of attention Samuel draws on the defensive side of the ball, it’s no real surprise why that is the case. Teams key in to stop Deebo, opening the field up for the Niners’ secondary weapons.
Ultimately, though, Samuel is at his best when the ball is in his grasp. Head coach Kyle Shanahan said as much after Monday’s beatdown.
“When you get the ball in his hands, I think he’s shown he does some pretty cool things,” Shanahan said.
“At first it looked like a pick… it was close…
You get the ball in his hands and it think he’s shown he can do some pretty cool things.”
Kyle Shanahan on Deebo Samuel’s 57 yard catch and run. 🔥🔥
— 95.7 The Game (@957thegame)
Garoppolo was similarly awed by Samuel’s showcase under the bright lights, telling reporters that he put a little extra mustard on his touchdown pass to ensure that “either Deebo [would] get it or no one [would.]”
“That’s about all I did on the play,” Garoppolo said. “Deebo did the rest, man. He’s fun, man, he’s fun to watch. It’s awesome having a guy like that.”
Ultimately, this week’s iteration of “Monday Night Football” was The Deebo Samuel Show. And you know what? Football fans weren’t complaining about it.