Why Russell Wilson’s success vs. 49ers ends in Week 3

Russell Wilson #3 of the Denver Broncos (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Russell Wilson #3 of the Denver Broncos (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /

NBC. 1-1. 8:20 p.m. ET. 1-1. 42. Sunday, Sept. 25. 45. 49ers -1.5

The 49ers don’t have to see Russell Wilson with the Seahawks anymore, but they’ll face him as part of the Broncos in Week 3.

The San Francisco 49ers exorcised a major demon with their Week 2 home victory against the Seattle Seahawks, turning the page on what had been a one-sided NFC West rivalry over the last 10 years.

However, that victory wasn’t quite the same with now-Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson no longer with the Hawks and no longer tormenting the Niners in key divisional matchups.

With San Francisco visiting Denver in Week 3 on Sunday Night Football, though, head coach Kyle Shanahan’s squad can look to exorcise another demon by beating Wilson.

Wilson and the Broncos are off to a 1-1 start, but that number is even misleading enough after a flop of a loss to the Seahawks before narrowly knocking off the lowly Houston Texans in Denver in Week 2. Through two weeks, Denver has mustered a mere 16 points in each of its first two games, and first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett’s offense has mostly looked out of sync.

A perfect context for the 49ers to chock up a rare win over Wilson this weekend.

Russell Wilson has owned 49ers in the past

Longstanding Niners fans need little reeducation on the kind of dominance Wilson had over the Niners during his Seattle tenure.

That dominance included a 16-4 regular-season record from Wilson over San Francisco, and we won’t need to add that 2014 NFC Championship game most 49ers fans would prefer to forget.

During that stretch, Wilson owns a 100.2 passer rating against the Niners, which is the highest against any team within the NFC West, and his 36 touchdowns tossed versus San Francisco is the most versus any opponent.

Read More: 49ers rivalry with Seahawks dead with Russell Wilson out of NFC West?

Needless to say, the 49ers are happy to see him out of the division but probably aren’t thrilled to face him in his new digs.

Except the context is drastically different now.

49ers can end era of Russell Wilson dominance on Sunday night

Denver’s offense is provocative. On one hand, its 783 rush yards rank seventh best in the NFL through two weeks.

However, Wilson and Co. finding pay dirt in the end zone has been another story.

The 32 combined points between Weeks 1 and 2 rank 24th in the league, and another wild kicker is the fact Wilson and the Broncos offense have gone 0-of-6 in the red zone this season.

On top of that, Wilson’s numbers thus far haven’t been very Wilson-like, him completing 58.9 percent of his passes with an 86.5 passer rating and five sacks taken, including three by a Texans team that boasts nowhere near the pass rush the Niners have.

Chalk it up to Wilson and head coach Nathaniel Hackett not being on the same page? That was an argument made by Niners Nation’s Kyle Posey and Akash Anavarathan.

Tack on the fact a soon-to-be 34-year-old Wilson is far less mobile and elusive than he was during his heyday years with the Hawks, and one might figure a stout San Francisco defense that pitched a shutout against Seattle last week (its seven points coming off a blocked field-goal try that went for a touchdown), and one might figure the edge is in the 49ers’ favor.

And the Niners would love nothing more than to record that elusive fifth victory over Wilson, and the context is there for it to happen.

San Francisco and Denver kick off on Sunday, Sept. 25 at 8:20 p.m. ET.

Next. Breaking down 5 bold predictions for 49ers game vs. Broncos. dark