No. 3: 49ers Pass Protection vs. EDGE Frank Clark
While Bobby Wagner was the defensive star for Seattle back in Week 13, EDGE Frank Clark was one of the premier pass-rushers.
Clark didn’t record a sack on quarterback Nick Mullens, however he did manage three hits and one pass defended. Mullens did manage to throw for 414 yards, two touchdowns and an interception during the game, although a good chunk of that yardage total came in garbage time, essentially, when the contest’s outcome was no longer in doubt.
Mullens has had some issues facing pressure this season, and Clark will be a key X-factor here. Especially considering he leads Seattle’s defense with 11 sacks. And against a 49ers offensive line ranked 24th in pass protection, according to Football Outsiders, one can see why this is a crucial matchup.
Yet Clark’s off-field comments about his former teammate, cornerback Richard Sherman, might be of slightly more interest.
“He’s not in this locker room anymore, so his opinion really doesn’t matter,” Clark said, via the Seattle Times. “You know what I mean? They’ve got problems over there in San Fran that he needs to be worried about. At the end of the day, this is my team now. This is my defense. Richard Sherman and his era is over here.”
This was in response to Sherman’s prior comments about the Seahawks being a “middle of the road” team.
Another chapter in the NFC West rivalry, perhaps?