49ers Brandon Aiyuk Reveals How an Insect Led to Miracle Catch

Just about every kid in America knows that if you see a ladybug land on any part of your body, you don’t flick it off. You make a which and blow on it, and just like that, you’ll have good luck. On Sunday against the Lions, San Francisco 49ers star receiver Brandon Aiyuk made a miracle catch on a ball that bounced off the helmet of Lions cornerback Kindle Vindor, dangled in the air and was snatched by Aiyuk, a miracle play that set up a critical 49ers touchdown.

Aiyuk was not all that surprised it had happened. He knew he had the power of the ladybug on his side.

“Before the game, a ladybug landed on my shoe,” Aiyuk said in his on-field postgame interview with Erin Andrews. When Andrews said, “Come on!” Aiyuk smiled and kept explaining. “Y’all know what that means. So. That’s all I can say because other than that I don’t know. I don’t know. Just great luck. God was with us today. Great win. It’s crazy.”

“Before the game, a ladybug landed on my shoe… Just great luck, God was with us today, great win, bang bang Niner gang.”

Brandon Aiyuk joined @ErinAndrews to talk about his crazy catch and the @49ers win! pic.twitter.com/XWKLPoVK2H

— NFL on FOX Podcast (@NFLonFOXPod) January 29, 2024

Big Play Needed After Terrible 1st Half

At the time of the play, the 49ers were still very much in dire straits, but the momentum was beginning to shift after a disaster of a first half that saw the 49ers enter the locker room down, 24-7, on their home field with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. But after notching a field goal on the opening drive, the 49ers defense—which had been embarrassed in the first half by giving up points on four out of five drives—came up with a huge fourth-and-2 stop on its own 28-yard line.

After a 17-yard play to Deebo Samuel, quarterback Brock Purdy opted to take a shot at a deep ball from the 45, and overthrew Aiyuk on what easily could have been an interception. The ball hit Vindor in the hand before ricocheting off his helmet. Aiyuk made the catch, though, and was down at the 5-yard line. On the third-and-goal that followed, Purdy zipped a pass through two defenders to Aiyuk for a touchdown, keeping the ladybug luck alive.

The momentum was full yon the 49ers’ side after that.

“We definitely felt the momentum. We came out after halftime and got Deebo (Samuel) going with back-to-back plays and the third play really got the momentum going,” Aiyuk said. “It got the fire ignited a little bit. We felt the energy, and then to finish off at seven points, we were just happy with that because we knew what we could do and where we could take it.”

Brock Purdy Trusts 49ers Brandon Aiyuk

As for Purdy, who bounced back from a terrible first half to finish with 267 yards on 20-for-31 passing. He might not have been aware of Aiyuk’s encounter with the ladybug, but he did know that Aiyuk would be able to get himself open.

“In that moment it was, all right, here is a shot, an opportunity for B.A.,” Purdy said, per 49ers Web Zone. “It was a single-high, safety didn’t get back or anything, he sort of stayed flat-footed. Our offense in that play, you can expect your receiver to get on top and trust him.

“The corner did a good job with actually staying on top, then tipped it up. B.A. did a great job with tracking the ball all the way and making a huge play for us, man. He’s a baller. That was clutch on his part.”

 

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