Fast-Rising Ex-UDFA on the 49ers Reacts to Bottling up 2 Pro Bowl WRs

Emmanuel Moseley

Getty Emmanuel Moseley squares up with Darrell Henderson on October 3, 2022.

Two days after the San Francisco 49ers unleashed a defensive onslaught of the reigning Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams, one streak stayed alive on the 49ers’ side.

It’s not just the string of consecutive regular season victories over the rival Rams the 49ers just extended, but a personal streak continued for former undrafted free agent Emmanuel Moseley: He still hasn’t surrendered a touchdown his side since November 5, 2020 — which now elevates the mark to 23 straight games.

But this time, Moseley raised his game another level against not one, but two Pro Bowl talents on the opposite side…with one of them torching the 49ers with 142 yards and two touchdowns in the last 49ers/Rams battle.

Per Next Gen Stats, the 49ers’ cornerback accomplished the following numbers against both Super Bowl 56 Most Valuable Player Cooper Kupp and the Rams’ prized free agent offensive addition Allen Robinson:

Versus Kupp: Total of 10 snaps including running plays — three catches allowed for just 12 yards on four targets. Kupp only averaged four yards a catch facing Moseley.

Versus Robinson: A higher total of 29 snaps, but “A-Rob” mustered just two grabs for seven yards only and averaged 3.5 yards per catch.

That’s right…the duo that was supposed to torch defenses together including whoever the 49ers threw at them combined for five catches and 19 yards against a defender who once was described by draft expert Lance Zierlein as a corner who “Allows too much space between himself and receiver when running hip to hip.”

How did Moseley take away two Pro Bowlers single-handily?

Moseley Shared Answer to NFL Network

Speaking with Steve Wyche and James Palmer of NFL Now on the NFL Network on Wednesday, October 5, Moseley revealed a simple, yet reliably, effective tactic he used to counter the dynamic pairing.

“I think it’s preparation throughout the week,” Moseley shared as the reason for his success versus both. “Definitely film study.”

But over time, Moseley has gotten used to battles with Kupp having faced him throughout his career.

“I played Cooper plenty of times in my career now,” Moseley said. “I played Allen Robinson — I think this is my second time playing him. So just knowing that I can go out there and do it, I’ve got to trust myself, trust my coaches to put me in the best matchup.”

But there’s another reason behind his continued emergence as a corner who denies six points and has now added two of his better coverage performances of his five-year career.

“And when you’ve got a D-line like we’ve got, a linebacker group like we’ve got, and DBs like we’ve got, we can stop anybody,” Moseley said.

While Moseley was targeted a total of nine passes and surrendered seven catches, the receiving yardage was bottled to 46 yards according to Pro Football Reference advanced stats.

Moseley Adds Rams Duo to This List

The list of stellar and Pro Bowl wideouts who have struggled against Moseley continues to show rapid growth since the 2021 season.

Outside of now Kupp and Robinson, here’s who else was prevented a breakout night facing the 5-foot-11, 190-pounder:

CeeDee Lamb: During the NFC wildcard contest won by S.F., the 2021 Pro Bowler was targeted twice but caught nothing facing Moseley per Pro Football Focus.

Amari Cooper: Also per PFF, the four-time Pro Bowler was thrown the football five times facing Moseley — catching three of the footballs but being held to 30 yards.

Davante Adams: While Adams holds the title of the last WR to beat Moseley into the end zone in that 2020 contest, Adams caught just three passes for 23 yards against Moseley in Week 3, then did this during the 49ers’ road playoff win.

Justin Jefferson: The Vikings All-Pro didn’t catch a single pass on one target to Moseley’s side in the Week 12 home win for the 49ers.

D.K. Metcalf: Metcalf only managed three catches for 53 yards in the Week 4 contest. And that was on seven targets.

Tyler Lockett: The Seahawks’ other Pro Bowl WR was held to one grab for five yards that same game.

De’Andre Hopkins: The five-time Pro Bowler mustered one grab for 11 yards in Week 5.

Moseley has also played a part in this defensive stat that places the 49ers ahead of two legendary Super Bowl teams:

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