Seahawks-49ers matchup No. 3: Anthony Davis vs. Cliff Avril
Cliff Avril leads Seattle with 7.5 sacks; Anthony Davis has allowed five sacks and 20 quarterback hurries. (AP)
The 49ers will need Anthony Davis to take care of business with uncertainty elsewhere on their offensive line. (AP)
Programming note: Watch Friday’s 49ers press conference with Jim Harbaugh streaming live right here at 2 p.m.
Editor's note: This is the first part in a series that spotlights three 49ers-Seahawks matchups to watch Sunday, 1:25 p.m., at Candlestick Park.
49ers RT Anthony Davis vs. Seahawks DE Cliff Avril
Tale of the tape
Davis (76): 6 foot 5, 323 pounds, fourth season, Rutgers
Avril (56): 6 foot 3, 260 pounds, sixth season, Purdue
They were heated rivals even before they lined up twice a season in the same division.
Right tackle Anthony Davis amped up the head-to-head rivalry in 2011 with profanity-strewn posts on Twitter in which he singled-out then-Detroit Lions defensive end Cliff Avril.
After the 49ers won an emotional game against the Lions, Davis and Avril engaged in a back-and-forth dialogue on Twitter. One of Davis’ G-rated posts read: “I pancaked you on a passing play……sooo uh just be quiet go home (and) play with your kids and go to bed.”
After Davis was a little less family-oriented with other public messages, Avril responded, “lol that's real professional homie… We'll meet again and see what's up.”
They will meet again, all right.
Davis signed an extension with the 49ers that keeps him under contract through the 2019 season. And Avril, who signed a two-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks, is paying immediate dividends as a pass-rush specialsist for the NFC West leaders.
“Avril in Detroit was an every-down player and you knew where he was going to be,” 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman said. “They’ll move him around a little bit and he’s done a nice job rushing the passer. He’s very talented and I think Anthony will be up to the task.”
Avril leads Seattle with 7.5 sacks. His sack of Drew Brees led to a fumble and Michael Bennett’s 22-yard return for a tone-setting touchdown in the Seahawks’ 34-7 victory Monday night over the New Orleans Saints.
The 49ers will need Davis to take care of business with uncertainty elsewhere on their offensive line. Left guard Mike Iupati is not expected to be available due to a knee injury, and left tackle Joe Staley returned to practice Thursday from a knee injury of his own.
Davis ranks as the No. 12 right tackle in the league, according to Pro Football Focus’ grading system. He has allowed five sacks and 20 quarterback hurries.