No. 2: Joe Staley vs. JadeveonClowney
Edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney is the living embodiment of stats not telling how good a player is on the field. Don’t let his 20 combined tackles and two sacks fool you, Clowney has been a monster for Seattle this year transitioning to a 4-3 EDGE.
He’ll match up mostly against veteran tackle Joe Staley, who should be returning from his broken leg suffered earlier in the year.
On the defensive line, Clowney is easily the best player Seattle has. If Staley can contain him, then the Seahawks lose a lot of their power on the defensive line.
The key here will be how fast Staley can get back to full ability after a stint on the sidelines. Some rust may naturally be apparent.
San Francisco can help scheme for this, however, with some double-team blocking, at least until he’s able to get back to his full ability.
If they neutralize Clowney, the Niners will have time to throw.
Which segues nicely to the next matchup.