No. 1: Don’t spy on the quarterback
There has been lots of chatter on social media about spying on Lamar Jackson. The definitive answer I have come up with is: don’t. He’s just too good, and you can’t afford to give up a potential big play which could lead to an easy touchdown.
Here’s the thing if you spy him with a linebacker: he’s going to beat them. As I’ve mentioned a few times, Jackson is quick. He can easily run past a linebacker. If he gets past the linebacker, he’s already in the second level of the defense. At that point, the Ravens receivers have taken their defenders down the field 20 to 30 yards, leaving lots of open space for Jackson to run.
So, why not use a defensive back to spy?
It’s simple, really. Defensive backs aren’t known for their run-stopping ability in the run box. Not only would the Ravens just run the ball down the middle every time, it also takes away extra coverage. Defensive backs, if lined up in the box, would have to deal with trying to get through the offensive line and/or tight end. As we’ve seen with tight end George Kittle, having a guy in that position to block will make the run game open up so much easier.
The 49ers don’t want to let Jackson have an easy day.
Look at how effortlessly Jackson runs when we gets to the open field with a linebacker chasing him:
Jackson makes his position look so easy. It also helps when a defense seems to stop one aspect of his game, the coaching staff find another way to utilize his talents.
The hype around this game is insane. Jackson versus a top defense in the NFL will be amazing to watch. If the 49ers execute these three things to perfection, there’s a chance they sneak out of Baltimore with a win.