No. 2: Take a Page from the Ravens’ Success vs. Russell Wilson
Out of the nine games Russell Wilson has played this season, only one of them saw a performance in which he didn’t reach a passer rating of 100 or better: Week 7 against the Baltimore Ravens, who went on to beat the Seahawks 30-16.
Wilson’s passer rating was a lowly 65.2 in that game, and the contest marked the only time he’s tossed an interception this year.
Take a look at what Baltimore did during the game, essentially forcing Wilson to throw to his left and mainly cutting down on successful completions in the intermediate range between 10 and 20 yards downfield:
The short-area throws to the left are potentially dangerous, yes. But if the 49ers are able to cover the flats, those intermediate target areas are spots in which Wilson has had some trouble this season.
According to Pro Football Focus, Wilson has completed just 11 of 28 passes between 10 and 20 yards down the left side of the field, accumulating a 71.6 passer rating in this area over the season, easily his worst target area of any so far.
This is primarily the side where cornerbacks Ahkello Witherspoon and Emmanuel Moseley defend the boundary. With Witherspoon still in doubt, whether or not he can return from a sprained foot, Moseley might need some shade help from either Jimmie Ward or rookie linebacker Dre Greenlaw covering underneath.
Moseley, Greenlaw and potentially Witherspoon need to pay attention to what the Ravens did in Week 7 to force throws in this area.
And if the 49ers execute properly enough, they’ll emulate Baltimore’s success, too.