No. 1: Don’t Bite on Play Action
The 49ers pass rush will be operating at full strength in Week 10, going up against a Seahawks offensive line ranked 20th in pass protection, according to Football Outsiders.
But Wilson isn’t exactly vulnerable against pressure, and his ability to evade it and extend plays with his legs has been on display for years now. It’s one of the reasons Wilson has emerged as one of the league’s greats.
More from Niner Noise
- 49ers 2023 NFL Draft tracker: Pick-by-pick news and analysis
- Predicting 49ers NFL Draft picks by looking at final mocks
- DraftKings NFL Draft Promo – Win $150 Guaranteed on Any $5 Bet
- 2023 NFL Draft: EDGE Byron Young could be impact player for 49ers
- 5 low-key NFL Draft options for 49ers who are flying under the radar
Yet a chief way to curtail a good pass rush is to have effective play action, which is generated by a strong run game. Seattle might not have as potent a ground attack as it did last year, averaging just 4.3 yards per carry, compared to 4.8 a year ago. But it’s still dangerous. And play action is one way to keep San Francisco’s pass-rushers honest.
The linebackers, too. Especially Dre Greenlaw, who got caught biting on play fakes multiple times during his on-field stints against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 9.
Again, there aren’t too many areas in which Wilson has clear weaknesses. He doesn’t need play action to beat a defense, as evidenced by his 110.1 passer rating without play fakes, per Pro Football Focus.
On play-action passes, however, Wilson is lethal. His passer rating jumps to an astounding 146.4, which is just over seven points from perfect.
The lesson here is a simple one: Don’t bite on the play fake.
San Francisco and Seattle kick off on Monday, Nov. 11 at 8:15 p.m. ET from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.