The San Francisco 49ers used five sacks to thwart Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in front of a national audience on Sunday Night Football in Week 12.

And while the defense was short EDGE Dee Ford, who missed the game with a hamstring injury, the Niners' other talented up-front defenders more than made up the difference, especially defensive end Arik Armstead.

Armstead picked up two sacks in the game, making him the first 49ers player to reach double-digit sacks this season.

"It was a dominant performance in a big-time game," Armstead told reporters after the 37-8 Niners victory. "It was a lot of fun."

In addition to Armstead recording his two sacks, fellow defensive lineman Nick Bosa recorded his eighth sack, while linebacker Fred Warner managed a first-quarter sack, which forced a fumble that Bosa recovered. Running back Tevin Coleman would score on the following play, which set the tone for San Francisco's lopsided performance.

Safety Jaquiski Tartt and defensive tackle DeForest Buckner also added half a sack each.

"Going into this game, we knew that it was going to come down to that," Armstead continued. "To first stop the run and then get after [Rodgers] and put them in bad situations, we were able to do that tonight. I am so proud of my teammates, so proud of everyone especially my D-linemen and the rest of the defense on how we played tonight."

Armstead's teammates are pretty proud of him, too.

"He is playing on a whole other level this year," Buckner said of Armstead, his close friend and former teammate at the University of Oregon, after the game. "It's just great to see it happen. Everything's falling into place for him. And for him to go out there consistently and get to the quarterback, make big plays, I'm just happy for him.

"He got double digits, which is big for him. It's just exciting to see one of my closest friends and one of the best teammates I've had get all the success he's had this year."

At some point, the 49ers will have to decide whether or not they want to retain Armstead into 2020, potentially beyond, as San Francisco's 2015 first-round NFL Draft pick will hit free agency this offseason. Hitting double-digit sack totals will certainly up the asking price, and the Niners are going to have some tough contractual decisions to make in coming months.

For now, though, the 49ers can be happy Armstead is making a massive difference up front and impacting the team's stout defense in a major way.
  • Peter Panacy
  • Written by:
    Peter Panacy has been writing about the 49ers since 2011 for outlets like Bleacher Report, Niner Noise, 49ers Webzone, and is occasionally heard as a guest on San Francisco's 95.7 FM The Game and the Niners' flagship station, KNBR 680. Feel free to follow him, or direct any inquiries to his Twitter account.