Brandon Aiyuk did not appear impressed by the New England Patriots’ secondary.
It was subtle and omitted from the transcripts, but during his media session after the 49ers' 33-6 win over the Patriots, the rookie receiver indicated he was not exactly wowed by All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore and his position mates.
When told that the Patriots secondary was viewed as one of the best in the league, Aiyuk shrugged slightly and a slight smirk crept across his face. When he was asked if he learned anything playing against Gilmore, Aiyuk kept his response vague and short.
“It was a good secondary,” Aiyuk said. “It was a good secondary, I guess."
Aiyuk had reason to show skepticism -- the 49ers' offense looked unstoppable. Their 467 total yards were the most allowed by New England all year long. Jimmy Garoppolo and his receivers racked up 270 yards through the air, which was just five yards shy of the highest passing yards allowed by the Patriots this season.
The 49ers handed the home team the worst home loss of the Bill Belichick era.
Aiyuk caught six of his seven targets for 115 yards and clearly did not feel challenged by the high-profile secondary, which includes All-Pro safety Adrian Phillips and Pro Bowl safety Devin McCourty in addition to Gilmore.
This is not to say the rookie is overconfident -- Aiyuk spoke about wanting to improve his play going forward. He also felt the sense of urgency the team has had since their Week 5 loss to the Miami Dolphins has been vital to their improvement.
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Aiyuk has also been building on his chemistry with Garoppolo, and that has shown on the field.
“Just being in the spots I am supposed to be in and where Jimmy is expecting me to be and the ball came to me when I did that,” Aiyuk said. “Obviously, it is exciting to have your first 100-yard game, but there is still a lot more to improve on and a lot more to build on.”
While Aiyuk’s statement could be used as bulletin-board material, barring a Super Bowl matchup, the two teams will not face each other again for several seasons to come.