The San Francisco 49ers‘ first division game will be at the Seattle Seahawks this Sunday night. The game is expected to be physical as this renewed rivalry continues to heat up. Both teams are known for their defenses. The 49ers defense may very well be the best in the NFL. But just because they may have the best defense top to bottom, that does not mean they cannot get beat or shown up.
After Russell Wilson‘s 320-yard passing performance, San Francisco’s defense needs to be on alert and plan accordingly.
The defensive line needs to “stay at home” and not get too deep behind the line of scrimmage. Like the 49ers, the Seahawks have a strong ground attack with running back Marshawn Lynch complimented by Wilson’s ability to run the football if he has to. All-Pro defensive end/linebacker Aldon Smith will have to aggressively pursue Wilson in the backfield regardless if he is the victim of repeating chipping by the tight end.
Linebacker Patrick Willis will also have to watch for read-option plays and stay disciplined in his reads, especially if the play breaks to the outside. NaVorro Bowman should stay in the middle and help stuff holes because he is a run-stopping specialist.
Head coach Jim Harbaugh should start Nnamdi Asomugha and Tarell Brown at the two cornerback spots because wide receivers Sydney Rice, who is 6-foot-4 and Golden Tate , who is 5-foot-10, are at the top of the Seahawks’ depth chart. Seattle’s wideouts are not the most elite of receivers, therefore Asomugha and Brown should play press man coverage.
If Willis is not the one to cover tight end Zach Miller, then rookie safety Eric Reid needs be. Veteran safety Donte Whitner is not the athlete that Reid is and does not have the coverage skills.