SANTA CLARA — Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin's retirement might have originally eased the anxiety 49ers fans feel when facing their rival, but it appears Tyler Lockett has stepped into the role seamlessly.
The 49ers have their work cut out for them Monday night when trying to slow down quarterback Russell Wilson. But the most interesting matchup in the Week 10 NFC West battle might be between 49ers cornerback K’Waun Williams and Wilson’s favorite target: Lockett.
“We just gotta make sure we are on our keys and our assignments and go out there and play our ball,” Williams said. “Everyone in this league has talent. Every week is a big challenge so we all have our work cut out for us this week.”
Williams knows the challenges of covering Lockett who leads the league with 604 yards out of the slot over nine games. Lockett also has racked up three 100-yards games. In two of those games, he netted over 150 yards.
We don't typically highlight non-49ers, but Tyler Lockett has been special from the slot for the @PFF_Seahawks.— PFF SF 49ers (@PFF_49ers) November 6, 2019
The battle between Lockett and K'wuan Williams, who has allowed a passer rating of 49.6 in slot coverage will be electric. #49ers pic.twitter.com/ry7Sqvtwoe
Lockett’s 767 receiving yards lead Seattle's wide receiver group with rookie D.K. Metcalf not far behind with a total of 525. It remains to be seen how much newly acquired receiver Josh Gordon will be in the mix, but Wilson has been known to find his man.
“They are all crafty they all have a skill set,” Williams said of the Seattle receivers before he spoke specifically about Lockett. “He’s quick, he’s fast, he runs great routes. It will be a great matchup for us.”
Williams also should be on the mind of Lockett while preparing for the game. Williams has been no slouch covering slot receivers this season. According to PFF, Williams has forced a league-low passer rating of 49.6 in slot coverage, just ahead of Colts' Kenny Moore, Titans' Logan Ryan and Rams' Nickell Robey-Coleman.
K’Wuan Williams has been lights out in slot coverage this season! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/2xwtWtjX1Q— PFF (@PFF) November 7, 2019
Williams is taking this matchup as he would any other this season, but rest assured it is one you should keep your eyes on come Monday night.