Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports


49ers vs. Seahawks defensive grades: Defense continues to be dominant in blankout

Rohan Chakravarthi
Sep 20, 2022 at 5:30 PM--



The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Seattle Seahawks 27-7, earning their first victory of the 2022 campaign, but it came with bad news, as second-year quarterback Trey Lance is expected to miss the rest of the 2022 campaign with an ankle fracture.



Here are the defensive grades for the 49ers in Week 2:

Defensive Line: A


Nick Bosa continued his dominance, recording two sacks in the 27-7 bout, while also having a team-high seven pressures on the day as the leader of the defensive line.

The 49ers' defensive line shut down the Seattle running game, after a week in which Rashaad Penny rushed for five yards per carry, with the entire running back unit gaining just 36 yards on the ground on 14 attempts.

Samson Ebukam and Kevin Givens had good production on Sunday in the run game, with the former ranking second overall in ESPN's run-stop win rate thus far, and the latter recording three run-stops on the day.

Surprisingly, Givens played nearly as much as Javon Kinlaw (19 snaps vs 21 snaps), although the reasoning is currently unknown.

Additionally, Kerry Hyder and Charles Omenihu had three pressures apiece, as the game proved to be a testament to the depth along the defensive line.

The line was able to force Geno Smith to rely mainly on a quick passing offense as he only averaged 6.6 yards per attempt and the Seahawks ended just one drive in San Francisco territory.

Linebackers: B+


The 49ers' linebacking corps had a bounce-back game after an undisciplined performance in Week 1 when Azeez Al-Shaair and Dre Greenlaw combined for three 15-yard penalties.

Greenlaw and Al-Shaair had more disciplined performances in Week 2, with the latter recording an impressive tackle for loss while also leading the team in tackles with eight.

Still, I felt that Greenlaw was out of place on a zone-coverage play in which Geno Smith was able to complete an intermediate pass near the hash, but still had a good overall game.

Fred Warner continues to be one of the MVPs of the 49ers' defense with his football IQ, especially against the pass, which has led to average-but-uninspiring passing performances from the opposing quarterbacks through the first two weeks.

Cornerbacks: B+


Charvarius Ward and Emmanuel Moseley have been lockdown cornerbacks. There's no other way to say it.

Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett did have nine catches for 107 yards on the day, but operated mainly out of the slot, while fellow WR D.K. Metcalf had four catches for 35 yards on the day.

The cornerbacks also tackled well, wrapping up their receivers and limiting big plays, which is positive sign moving forward, especially in light of the departure of CB K'Waun Williams, who was their best tackler in the secondary,

Through two games, Mooney Ward hasn't missed a tackle, while only allowing a passer rating of 50.5 in Week 2, with several of his completions allowed coming on shorter passes in soft coverage.

Ward also recorded a red zone interception—his first turnover as a 49er.

Moseley recorded a pass-breakup in coverage on D.K. Metcalf, but also drew a pass interference penalty while in coverage on a different play to Metcalf.

Safeties: A+


The safeties were the best unit on the field on Sunday, with Talanoa Hufanga being the team's MVP through two weeks and Tashaun Gipson playing above expectations.

Hufanga's utilization as a "robber" in zone coverage has been the perfect adjustment for the 49ers while they are without longtime starter Jimmie Ward, who suffered an injury during the closed practices of training camp.

The second-year safety recorded two run-stops, and two pass-breakups, including one that was tipped to Gipson for an interception, while also consistently filling his run fits.

Many have questioned Hufanga's 4.6 40-time, but while his long speed may not be that impressive, his explosiveness and quickness have been on display through the first two weeks, especially on the two turnovers he has forced thus far.

Gipson has also been in the correct positions, especially while filling the single-high safety role in Week 2. The 49ers didn't allow any explosive plays, with Gipson's veteran experience and ability to play the deep end serving the 49ers well without Jimmie Ward.

The communication between the two has been surprising, given that Gipson was signed toward the end of training camp, but they'll be relied upon when the 49ers face a strong receiving corps in their upcoming Week 3 battle against former Seahawks QB Russell Wilson and his new team—the Denver Broncos.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.
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2 Comments

  • Larry Dunham
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KORVhVzCsaE
    Sep 20, 2022 at 7:22 PM
    1
  • Larry Dunham
    HOF safety Troy Polamalu mentored and trained Hufanga; with isokinetic/plyometric training, which improves speed, reactions, and allows you to jump higher, move quicker, etc. Friends the Marinovich brothers invented it, and trained Troy since his USC days. It trains your nervous system, to get muscles to fire faster! Slow, heavy weight lifting does the exact opposite, tightening you up, slows you down, and makes you prone to injury, as it unbalances muscles. Hamstrings get pulled, because quads are stronger, not in balance with them.
    Sep 20, 2022 at 7:20 PM
    0

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