Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

PFF ranks 49ers run defense as the worst in the NFL

Jul 18, 2019 at 5:46 AM--

Pro Football Focus is going through its annual offseason rankings and most recently looked at each NFL team's run defense. The San Francisco 49ers defense ranked No. 11 against the pass last season and No. 19 against the run, allowing 113.4 yards per game. Of course, the stat may be a bit misleading because the unit allowed just 4.1 yards per rushing attempt, which ranked No. 7 in the league and best in the NFC West.

Pro Football Focus doesn't think too highly of the 49ers' run defense as it stands right now and ranked the unit as the worst in the league against the run.

While analyst Michael Renner acknowledges that San Francisco worked hard this offseason to bolster its struggling pass rush on the edges, he believes it may have been at the cost of the ability to stop the run.

"The 49ers once again invested heavily in their front-seven this offseason," Renner wrote, "but almost all those moves came with the expressed intent of affecting the pass. Dee Ford has a career-high run-defense grade of 67.6, and Kwon Alexander's is 53.3. Nick Bosa should hold his own in that regard, but this is still a rough unit overall."

Even defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, with his career-high 12 sacks last season, ranked No. 50 among interior defensive lineman against the run. The analytics site had him registering 37 stops but with six missed tackles. Buckner's tackling grade of 49.4 was a career-low.

The rest of the NFC West didn't fare much better within the Pro Football Focus ranking. The Los Angeles Rams ranked No. 31 while the Arizona Cardinals came in at No. 30. The Seattle Seahawks did a bit better coming in at No. 20.

Click here to read the full Pro Football Focus run-defense ranking.

H/t to Patrick Tulini for the find.


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