Despite all the injuries and moving parts, 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh largely has been able to keep his unit playing at a consistently high level.
That challenge becomes a lot more difficult for the 49ers’ defensive backfield Sunday against Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks.
“We feel like we match up with people in the back end better than anyone in the league,” Saleh said.
The 49ers’ offense will be expected to put up a lot of points against a Seattle defense that has been historically bad through six games. Saleh’s defense must come up with enough third-down stops and give the ball back to the team’s offense in order for the 49ers to continue to close the gap at the top of the NFC West standings.
Here are five 49ers to watch in Week 8 against the Seahawks:
Kwon Alexander could be available after missing a couple of games with an ankle sprain, but Greenlaw has been playing at such high level. The 49ers would be wise to keep him on the field, alongside middle linebacker Fred Warner, for every snap of the game.
Greenlaw and Warner must have their heads on a swivel. They will be tasked to cover the middle of the field in the passing game while also keeping an eye on Wilson to limit his yards when he breaks from the pocket.
Greenlaw, a second-year player known as “Big Play Dre,” has already had two memorable games against the Seahawks. He returns to the site of his goal-line stop of Jacob Hollister in the closing seconds of Week 17 that enabled the 49ers to clinch the NFC West and homefield advantage in the playoffs last season.
Look for Greenlaw to be in the middle of the action again on Sunday.