49ers

49ers receivers' stats starkly contrast with Saints' Michael Thomas

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49ers receivers' stats starkly contrast with Saints' Michael Thomas

The 49ers haven't seen a wide receiver like Michael Thomas in 2019.

The New Orleans Saints star leads the NFL in receptions (110) and receiving yards (1,290), ranking fifth in the league in yards per touch (11.5). Catching passes from an all-time great in Drew Brees and playing half of your games in the comfort of the Superdome helps, but Thomas' prolificacy is stark when contrasted with the 49ers' wide-receiving corps, as Pro Football Focus' Jeff Denney noted Monday. 

A full season with Emmanuel Sanders in the fold surely would've made the aforementioned gap bigger. Plus, the 49ers rely on a tight end for much of their receiving production. George Kittle leads the team in targets (67), receptions (54) and receiving yards (687), ranking no worse than eighth among NFL tight ends in those categories. 

Still, Thomas is something else. Kittle and 49ers rookie receiver Deebo Samuel have combined for 1,251 receiving yards, or 39 fewer than Thomas has on his own. Brees and Saints backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater remarkably have thrown to Thomas on over 30 percent of their throws this season, whereas 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has targeted one of Kittle and Samuel just over 35 percent of the time this season. 

[RELATED: Where 49ers stand in NFC playoff picture after Saints' win]

Thomas is coming off his worst performance of the season, as he caught six passes for 48 yards on short rest in the Saints' Thanksgiving win over the Atlanta Falcons. The 49ers would be wise to take a page out of the Falcons' playbook, but that is easier said than done, considering Thomas has at least 89 receiving yards in all but two of his games this season and has caught at least two-thirds of his targets in each game.

Brees will throw to Thomas early and often Sunday. How often will go a long way towards determining if the 49ers can avoid their first losing streak of the season.

Twitter reacts: Bay Area athletes, teams celebrate Memorial Day 2020

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USATSI

Twitter reacts: Bay Area athletes, teams celebrate Memorial Day 2020

Memorial Day signifies the unofficial start to summer in the United States.

It's also a big benchmark on the sports calendar.

The 2020 MLB season should have been in full swing, ready to turn the page on its second month. Monday would have been filled with pageantry at the ballparks around the country as teams honored our military servicepeople and veterans.

The NBA and NHL playoffs, likely without all three Northern California teams, should have been in the conference finals stage.

Instead, this was a very different Memorial Day due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

[RELATED: Watch flyover above Levi's Stadium]

That didn't stop Bay Area athletes and teams from celebrating the holiday on social media:

We hope everyone had a safe and healthy Memorial Day.

Watch majestic Memorial Day flyover above 49ers' Levi's Stadium

Watch majestic Memorial Day flyover above 49ers' Levi's Stadium

We’re all in this together.

The 49ers partnered up with the California Air National Guard to salute those on the front lines of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

[RELATED: Do 49ers have more offensive weapons than Seahawks, Cardinals, Rams?]

The flyover was handled by the Guard’s 129th Rescue Wing.

California Governor Gavin Newsom recently said sports could return to the state by the first week of June, so we hopefully will be seeing the Niners take the field at Levi’s Stadium this fall.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]