Russell Wilson’s history against 49ers bodes well for Broncos in Week 3

Sep 22, 2022, 9:14 AM
Russell Wilson throws a pass in training camp...
ENGLEWOOD, COLORADO - JUNE 14: Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Denver Broncos throws during a mandatory mini-camp at UCHealth Training Center on June 14, 2022 in Englewood, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

This story was originally published by Andrew Mason, senior Broncos writer for 104.3 The Fan in Denver, a Bonneville station. 

It’s fair to say that Russell Wilson has been a thorn in the San Francisco 49ers’ side over the last decade.

And when their head coach, Kyle Shanahan, looks at Wilson in orange and blue, he sees the quarterback who has tormented them. Wilson led the Seattle Seahawks to a 17-4 record against the 49ers, including a 23-17 win in the 2013 NFC Championship Game.

Even last year — when the 49ers came within one game of the Super Bowl and the Seahawks went 7-10 — Wilson led his team to a season series sweep.

“I see the same stuff I’ve seen going against him in Seattle for the last 10 years,” Shanahan said Wednesday. “They’ve just come up short on a couple of touchdowns there.”

It’s not just the wins, but how they happen. They’re often close; the 49ers’ last three losses to Wilson-led teams came by one score apiece. In a January 2021 game, Wilson led the Seahawks on three fourth-quarter touchdown drives, overturning a 16-6 deficit.

“I can’t tell you how many times you go against him and nothing’s happening, and then all of a sudden, they score 21 points like that, and that’s what you’ve always got to be careful of,” Shanahan said.

“That’s what we’ve seen in the past, and that’s what I feel he was extremely close to showing these last two weeks.”

Perhaps the best thing the Broncos have going for them is Wilson’s history against the 49ers. Back-breaking mistakes are rare for Wilson; success is the norm.

Most notable is the consistency — especially against the Shanahan-led 49ers. Since Shanahan became San Francisco’s head coach in 2017, Wilson-led teams have averaged 27.1 points. Just once in those 10 games did they fail to score at least 21 points. That came in the first meeting of Wilson and Shanahan, when Seattle won, 12-9.

Russell Wilson also has at least one touchdown pass in each of his last 10 games against the 49ers. And in the 10 games against them since Shanahan became their head coach, he has a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 22-to-3.

Wilson’s average game against Shanahan’s 49ers? 22 completions in 33 attempts, a completion percentage of 66.7, 2.2 touchdowns and 0.3 interceptions.

So, on Sunday, all the Broncos ask of Wilson is what he’s done to the 49ers throughout his career.

“No matter how long you hold Russell and contain him, he always finds ways to make some plays, and you hope to limit those,” Shanahan said.

You can read more from Andrew on The Fan and follow him on Twitter at @MaseDenver.



Darren Waller #83 of the Las Vegas Raiders kneels on the field after their loss to the Pittsburgh S...
Joseph Jarosz

McDaniels doesn’t call losing Carr, Waller a rebuild; is excited about Raiders direction

Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels spoke about how the team isn't going through a rebuild and is excited for their new direction.
1 day ago
Deebo Samuel #19, Brandon Aiyuk #11 and Jauan Jennings #15 of the San Francisco 49ers in the locker...
Amiliano Fragoso

John Lynch: 49ers planning to pick up fifth-year option for WR Brandon Aiyuk

San Francisco 49ers' GM John Lynch indicated that the team would be picking up the fifth-year option for budding star WR Brandon Aiyuk.
1 day ago
Brock Purdy #13 of the San Francisco 49ers warms up prior to the NFC Championship Game against the ...
Amiliano Fragoso

John Lynch: Brock Purdy is the ‘leader in the clubhouse’ for the 49ers’ 2023 starting QB job

Despite having elbow surgery this month, 49ers' GM John Lynch said QB Brock Purdy would be the starting QB for 2023, if healthy.
1 day ago
Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis poses during a kick-off event celebrating the 2022 NFL Draft at ...
Joseph Jarosz

What picks do Las Vegas Raiders have in the 2023 NFL Draft?

Because of the recent trade involving Darren Waller, the Las Vegas Raiders now have 12 picks in the 2023 NFL Draft. Here's where they're picking.
1 day ago
Head coach Josh McDaniels of the Las Vegas Raiders looks on against the Kansas City Chiefs during t...
Joseph Jarosz

Josh McDaniels says Raiders have put themselves in position to ‘draft the best player available’

Raiders coach Josh McDaniels spoke to the NFL Network during the Annual League Meeting in Phoenix about the team's offseason and needs.
1 day ago
Quarterback Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens drops back to pass against the Denver Broncos ...
Amiliano Fragoso

QB Lamar Jackson officially requests trade from Ravens

After weeks of speculation, QB Lamar Jackson confirmed on social media that he has requested a trade away from the Baltimore Ravens.
1 day ago
Russell Wilson’s history against 49ers bodes well for Broncos in Week 3