Mooney Ward has been one of the 49ers most consistent performers this season, but he struggled for most of the day against the Seahawks. Kyle Shanahan was asked about those struggles yesterday, and said he doesn’t expect a repeat performance this week.
“I think it’ll fuel him a lot. He played as good as he could verse [Seattle Seahawks WR] DK [Metcalf] in that first game and it’s hard to do that again. DK is as good of a receiver as there is in this league.
He is a problem to stop and I like that Mooney didn’t stop, he didn’t shy away from him once he got beat on that deep ball. He was playing the back shoulder pretty well and DK did a hell of a job slowing down and looking back and he got him. Mooney thought it was going to be a back shoulder and he took his eyes off it to stop that and then DK slipped down the sidelines on the go-route, but that’s going to happen with a good player like that.
You hope it doesn’t happen too often and Mooney’s done a hell of a job with that all year and I know he will come back and continue to do that this week.”
Kyle is exactly right. Most people will remember the 50 yard touchdown pass that Ward surrendered in the second quarter, but they forget about this play, one snap before Charles Omenihu forced the game-changing fumble.
Despite all the struggles up to that point in the game, there is Ward, once again locked up in press man coverage with DK Metcalf. Geno Smith recognizes the matchup immediately and takes a shot at tying the game. Mooney rose to the occasion, prevented the completion, and the rest is history.
The best cornerbacks in the game have the worst memories. Mooney Ward has played like one of the best corners in the game all year long, and one day doesn’t change who he is as a player. Look for him to return to form on Sunday.
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