The 49ers play the Seahawks Sunday night in Seattle. In the meantime, I’ll break down the key matchups.
The Seahawks’ cornerbacks vs. Michael Crabtree
A year ago, Michael Crabtree beat Brandon Browner for a 41-yard fourth quarter catch to set up David Akers’ game winning field goal in Seattle.
If you take away that great catch, Michael Crabtree averages three receptions and 25 yards per game against the Seahawks in his career.
Back in Week 7, Browner and Richard Sherman held Crabtree to four catches for 31 yards.
Browner will not play in this game – he’s been suspended for using Adderall. Richard Sherman may not play either, he tested positive for Adderall use as well, and his appeal is Friday. If he loses the appeal, he will not play.
Crabtree does not match up well against Sherman. Sherman is big and strong and ties up Crabtree at the line of scrimmage.
But Sherman only plays one side of the field – the left side. Even if Sherman plays, the 49ers can line up Crabtree on other side or in the slot. He doesn’t have to face Sherman.
Crabtree can face backup cornerbacks. The Seahawks’ backups are Walter Thurmond III and Marcus Trufant. Both guys have injured hamstrings and did not play last week.
The Seahawks’ third-string cornerbacks are rookie sixth-round-picks Jeremy Lane and Byron Maxwell, who have played in just four NFL games total.
Crabtree should dominate Seattle’s backups and have his first big game against the Seahawks.