Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Despite loss to Seahawks, 49ers’ DeForest Buckner earns PFF game ball

Sep 18, 2017 at 6:50 AM--

The San Francisco 49ers defense has invested a lot in its defensive line over the past few years. Among those investments is second-year defensive lineman DeForest Buckner, who earned Pro Football Focus' game ball in the 49ers' 12-9 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.

Below is what the Pro Football Focus analysis team had to write about Buckner's performance in the disappointing loss.

"Buckner was disruptive, both as a pass-rusher and against the run, as he finished with nine total pressures (four hits, five hurries) on his 40 rushes. He also got in on two run stops, while consistently shedding blocks on the backside of zone runs and clogging up those running lanes. Buckner's 68 snaps led all 49ers defensive linemen and his 121 snaps on the season now rank third among all interior defensive linemen."

This season, Buckner leads all NFL interior defenders with 12 quarterback pressures, per Pro Football Focus. That number was made up of seven hurries and five hits. However, he is still seeking his first sack of the season after finishing last season with six. Buckner still has 14 games to get to the quarterback 10 times, which was the goal he set for himself back in July.

"Obviously, I want to get more sacks this year," Buckner said at the start of training camp. "My personal goal is 10 and some [tackles for a loss] and a bunch of tackles. I mean, that's really my main goal, getting at least 10 sacks this year because I know I can do it. I mean, I missed a couple last year and I just want to redeem myself from last year."

Below are the five highest-graded 49ers players from Sunday's game in Pro Football Focus' initial release of grades.

  • DT DeForest Buckner, 90.8 overall grade
  • OT Joe Staley, 86.8 overall grade
  • OT Trenton Brown, 86.0 overall grade
  • S Jaquiski Tartt, 82.6 overall grade
  • S Jimmie Ward, 81.3 overall grade

The site called Joe Staley one of the "few bright spots" for the 49ers, crediting him with the block that sprung running back Carlos Hyde during his 61-yard run in the second quarter.

Quarterback Brian Hoyer had a Week 2 passer rating of 48.2, which ranked him 29th among the 30 quarterbacks who have played so far. His adjusted Pro Football Focus passer rating of 59.9 still ranked him 29th despite the fact that Hoyer was under pressure just seven times in the game with the Seahawks defense getting to him twice.

Pro Football Focus wrote the following about Hoyer's performance in Seattle, which was his first at CenturyLink Field.

"Lack of separation for his targets and inaccuracies made it a tough day as Hoyer attempted just 3 passes over 10 yards with 0 completions."

The winless 49ers have a short week to prepare for their Thursday night game against the Los Angeles Rams at Levi's Stadium. As of Monday morning, the 49ers defense ranks ninth in the NFL, which is already an improvement over last season's last-ranked unit.

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