Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports


Who were PFF’s highest-graded 49ers players vs. the Lions?

Sep 13, 2021 at 9:39 AM--


The San Francisco 49ers opened their 2021 regular season with a thrilling 41-33 road victory over the Detroit Lions. Thanks to a late-game collapse, it was probably more thrilling than it needed to be, but the Bay Area squad emerged with the win and started the season 1-0.

Today, Pro Football Focus released its grades from the game. Which Niners played well, and who has more work to do?

Below are Pro Football Focus' five highest-graded 49ers players on offense against the Lions.


Below are the five highest-graded 49ers players on defense.


Below are the three lowest-graded 49ers players on offense.


Below are the three lowest-graded 49ers players on defense.


Quick Takeaways


While Trent Williams was the game's highest-graded player, which should come as no surprise, the other bookend along the offensive line, Mike McGlinchey, was among the lowest-graded players. That is significant as the latter has been the target of much criticism for his on-field performance. Typically, he performs well as a run-blocker, and it's his pass-blocking grade that suffers. McGlinchey graded poorly in both categories yesterday, earning a run-blocking grade of 51.8 and a pass-blocking grade of 43.9.

While rookie quarterback Trey Lance was the lowest-graded offensive player, the sample size was only four snaps. Lance completed his lone pass attempt for a touchdown. A larger sample size and more effectiveness in the run game probably would have helped his overall grade.

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo just missed the top five. His 71.2 overall grade on 51 snaps was the sixth-highest among the 49ers' offensive players.

Wide receiver Deebo Samuel was Garoppolo's favorite target during the game. His nine receptions for 189 yards and a touchdown on 12 targets earned him the highest grade among all pass-catchers in the game.

It's hard not to notice that defensive linemen earned the defensive's top four overall grades. That is considered the strength of the team. Among them are Nick Bosa and Dee Ford, the two edge rushers who returned from serious injuries last season. That's excellent news for the 49ers and bad news for opposing quarterbacks.

The fifth-highest graded player on defense was starting cornerback Jason Verrett, who exited late in the game with what is believed to be a torn ACL. His presence will be severely missed.

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