The 49ers play the Dolphins Sunday at Candlestick. In the meantime, I’ll break down five key matchups.
DE Cameron Wake vs. LT Joe Staley
According Pro Football Focus, Wake is the No.1 rated pass rushing 4-3 defensive end in the NFL this season, and Staley is the No.17 rated pass blocking tackle.
Staley is the best run blocking tackle in the NFL, but Wake is a terrific run stopper, too.
This is Staley’s toughest matchup of the season. He’s not built to block an elite rusher on obvious pass plays. Staley needs the run game and the play action game to work to throw Wake off balance.
Otherwise, the 49ers are going to have to help Staley by lining up Vernon Davis on the left side of the line and having him chip Wake before Davis runs his route.