The 49ers reached the midpoint of their season. That, coupled with the group having its bye this week, makes this an ideal time to replicate on the primary half of the season. Listed below are the defensive grades for the primary half.
Defensive Line: A+
Led by Nick Bosa, the 49ers line of defense has been one of the crucial dominant in all of soccer.
Whereas Bosa’s 8.5 sacks are tied for the NFL lead, San Francisco’s protection is tied for the second most sacks with 3.3 per sport.
Following Bosa is Samson Ebukam, who has 3.5 sacks on the season, together with Charles Omenihu and rookie Drake Jackson who every have three apiece.
In complete, seven 49ers defensive linemen have recorded at the very least one sack.
San Francisco’s line of defense hasn’t dominated solely in opposition to the cross. This group has additionally performed a major position within the Niners protection, permitting the fewest yards per rush try.
Arik Armstead was sidelined for many of the first half by foot and ankle accidents. The identical goes for Javon Kinlaw, who needed to be positioned on injured reserve with a knee damage.
Kevin Givens and Hassan Ridgeway have stepped as much as anchor the defensive inside of their absence. Every has recorded a sack, and 5 of Givens’ 14 tackles have been for a loss.
Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw kind arguably the most effective linebacker duo within the league. They’ve performed a big half within the 49ers sturdy defensive begin to the season and lead the group in tackles with 62 and 58, respectively.
Warner is on tempo to permit a decrease completion share than he did in 2020 when he was named First Group All-Professional. His missed sort out share of just one.6 is by far the most effective in his profession.
Azeez Al-Shaair, Oren Burks, and Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles have all been strong when given their alternatives.
Defensive Backs: B+
The offseason addition of Charvarius Ward considerably upgraded the 49ers cornerback play. The signing of Tashon Gipson has matched its significance to the protection’s efficiency throughout coaching camp.
Ward, Gipson, and Talanoa Hufanga have remodeled the San Francisco secondary.
The trio and Emmanuel Moseley recorded six interceptions over the primary half, almost tying the defenses complete from a season in the past. Three of these interceptions have come from Hufanga, giving the second-year security the group lead.
The 4 interceptions by Hufanga and Gipson are essentially the most the 49ers have seen from the security place because the arrival of Kyle Shanahan. Additionally it is essentially the most for a San Francisco group since Antoine Bethea, and Eric Reid mixed to file seven interceptions in 2014.
Particular Groups: C-
San Francisco made bettering particular groups a precedence final offseason.
The highest free agent signings, Oren Burks, George Odum, and Ray-Ray McCloud had been all introduced in with this aim in thoughts. As well as, Brian Schneider was employed to switch Richard Hightower because the coordinator.
It hasn’t gone as anticipated.
San Francisco has seen two area targets blocked, one in every of which was returned for a landing. The kickoff protection unit gave up three returns of over 40 yards.
The lone vivid spot was the efficiency of McCloud in opposition to the Rams in week eight. Final Sunday, McCloud recorded returns of 39 and 27 yards to convey his common for the yr as much as 19.7, a slight enchancment over 2021.
Other than the loss to Kansas Metropolis, DeMeco Ryans has been wonderful in his second season because the defensive coordinator.
It took till week six for the 49ers protection to permit a landing within the first quarter.
The one draw back for the protection has been an incapacity to get a cease as soon as issues go sideways.
In opposition to Chicago in week one, the protection allowed the Bears into the endzone on three straight possessions. In week three, regardless of a heroic effort, they might not maintain on to a five-point lead within the fourth quarter. Dealing with a robust Falcons assault, the protection couldn’t get off the sphere late within the second quarter and allowed a landing on Atlanta’s first possession after the half. The coup de gras got here in week seven when Kansas Metropolis scored touchdowns on six of its first eight possessions.
Final week in Los Angeles began a lot the identical because the Rams scored on back-to-back possessions to take a 14-10 lead into halftime.
The second half was a unique story. The 49ers protection stood up and held their NFC West rivals scoreless within the second half.
For the primary time since week 5, the San Francisco protection seemed like itself as they managed the road of scrimmage and completed the sport off in dominating trend.
If Ryans can preserve his group taking part in at a excessive degree within the second half, the 49ers might play late into January once more. And who is aware of, perhaps even early February.
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