Editor's note: This is the second part in a series that spotlights three 49ers-Seahawks matchups to watch Sunday, 1:25 p.m., at Candlestick Park.
Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch vs. 49ers NT Glenn Dorsey
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Tale of the tape
Lynch (24): 5 foot 11, 215 pounds, seventh season, California
Dorsey (90): 6 foot 1, 297 pounds, sixth season, LSU
Glenn Dorsey, who began his career with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2008, began his career unable to fulfill the huge expectations that come along with being the No. 5 overall pick in the draft.
Now, in his first season as a nose tackle with the 49ers, Dorsey has been transformed into a valuable under-the-radar player who has thrived in a dirty-work role.
“I prefer it that way,” Dorsey said. “We have a lot of players on the front line that play well, and we complement each other. You can’t just key in and focus on one guy because everybody across the line can play well.”
Dorsey plays mostly on first and second downs. And his job Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks will be to limit the effectiveness of running back Marshawn Lynch, who leads the team with 970 yards rushing and nine touchdowns.
With as much talk about quarterback Russell Wilson being an MVP candidate for the Seahawks, a lot of his success can be attributed to Lynch's ability to gain tough yards to set up the passing game.
“We’re staying on schedule,” Wilson said. “We’re keeping it third and shorts.”
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Dorsey typically leaves the field when the 49ers go with their nickel defense. So while he will rarely make an impact on third downs, his performance against the middle of the Seattle offensive line will help determine the distance the Seahawks must travel to keep the chains moving.
Dorsey had 12 tackles in the earlier meeting against Seattle, according to the coaches' film review. His best game of the season came last week against the St. Louis Rams, as he recorded 13 tackles while handling every blocking combination he went up against. He'll face a big challenge against the Seahawks' zone-blocking scheme.
“They run the ball on first and second down as much as anybody in the league. And they do it because they’re good at it,” 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said. “The byproduct of that is, when they do get the third down, a lot of times it’s in manageable situations for them.”
The 49ers have yet to allow a 100-yard rusher this season, but Lynch gained 98 yards rushing in Seattle’s 29-3 victory in Week 2. Lynch had three touchdowns, including a reception from Wilson.
“He’s a tremendous running back,” Dorsey said. “He has good vision. He runs hard. He’s always a challenge to stop.”