Thu. Feb 22nd, 2024

The 49ers pulled off a stunning comeback to beat the Lions on Sunday and a catch by wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk played a leading role in the effort.

After the Lions failed to convert on a fourth down in 49ers territory, the home team was able to flip the field on a long pass. The throw by quarterback Brock Purdy wasn’t perfect, but it bounced off of cornerback Kindle Vildor’s helmet and into Aiyuk’s hands for a diving catch that covered 51 yards. Aiyuk would score a couple of plays later and the 49ers were back within a touchdown after falling behind by 17 points in the first half.

“But when I saw him catch that, I was like, ‘That’s insane,’” Purdy said, via “At the end of the day, I was just trying to give him an [opportunity]. It’s one-on-one, a huge game. We need a big play and [an] explosive. Here’s one of our best receivers to go down and make a clutch play for us.”

Lions running back Jahmyr Gibbs lost a fumble right after Aiyuk’s touchdown and the 49ers were able to tie the game, but no play loomed larger in their turnaround than the one Aiyuk made on a deep ball that seemed destined for a negative outcome when it left Purdy’s hand.

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