Dante Pettis has put up noteworthy performances in back-to-back weeks. However, following his Week 13 showing against the Seattle Seahawks, he’s earned himself league-wide recognition as a nominee for Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week.
The 49ers were without their top two receivers in Pierre Garçon and Marquise Goodwin on Sunday and it was Pettis who emerged as a key playmaker. In the city he called home during his college career at Washington, Pettis hauled in five receptions for 129 yards (25.8 average) and two touchdowns (all career highs).
On his second score of the game, Nick Mullens found the receiver on a 75-yard catch-and-run where he broke a tackle and beat several Seahawks defenders in a race to the end zone.
“Right away when we lined up, I saw the safety was down low on the other side,” Pettis said of his fourth-career touchdown. “Normally I’m supposed to take a sharper angle, and I saw there was no safety in the middle of the field, so I kind of took it higher and just hoped that Nick saw it, too, and he did, and he hit me in stride.”
Sunday marked Pettis’ first career multi-touchdown game as well as his first 100-yard performance. Pettis’ big day came on the heels of a four-catch, 77-yard and one-touchdown showing against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 12.
The 49ers second-round pick became the first rookie wide receiver in franchise history to catch four touchdowns since Terrell Owens in 1996. His 129 receiving yards on the day are the fourth-most by a rookie in franchise history in a single game and are the most since Jerry Rice registered 241 receiving yards against the Los Angeles Rams in 1985.
Other Week 13 nominees for Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week include quarterback Josh Allen (Bills), running backs Saquon Barkley (Giants), Phillip Lindsay (Broncos) and safety Derwin James (Chargers).
Fans can vote for Pettis on www.nfl.com/rookiesthrough Friday at noon PT. The winner will be announced that same day on NFL Total Access on NFL Network and on NFL.com.