No. 1: 49ers Defensive Front Seven vs. Lamar Jackson
It’s hard to figure out what Lamar Jackson can’t do on the field.
A year ago, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was rightfully the storymaker of the league. In 2019, Jackson is the name to watch in this same electrifying category. And for those wondering if Jackson would miss out on the league MVP vote, his five-touchdown performance on Monday night against the Rams should be more than enough evidence.
On the positive side of things, the 49ers have good experience defending against mobile quarterbacks who extend plays by leaving the pocket — something I broke down on KNBR 680 with Drew Hoffar this week:
The Niners had difficulty with Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray in Weeks 9 and 11, while the Seahawks’ Russell Wilson continued his extend-the-play-with-his-legs ways, too.
Granted, neither are exactly in the category Jackson is now. And while San Francisco’s defense struggled with both Murray and Wilson, the flip side is being exposed to it and finding adequate solutions.
After all, the 49ers went 2-1 during that stretch and were a missed overtime field goal away from being 3-0 against Murray and Wilson.
San Francisco likely spies a linebacker or safety on Jackson, perhaps Dre Greenlaw or even Tarvarius Moore. And while this could come at a cost for some of the Niners’ other defensive alignments, it at least puts Robert Saleh’s defense in better position to contain Jackson.
The 49ers and Ravens kick off on Sunday, Dec. 1 at 1 p.m. ET at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.