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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

49ers vs. Seahawks defensive grades: DeMeco Ryans produces another near-2nd half shutout

Rohan Chakravarthi
Jan 18, 2023 at 5:45 PM

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The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Seattle Seahawks 41-23 in a blowout victory to move forward to the NFC Divisional Round, where they'll face the Dallas Cowboys for the second consecutive season in the playoffs.

After giving up 16 points in the first half, the 49ers shut down the Seahawks' offense, allowing only a final-minute touchdown when the game was well out of reach.

Here are the grades for the 49ers' win over the Seahawks.

Defensive Line: B

The 49ers produced 16 pressures against the Seahawks' offense, recording three total sacks on Geno Smith, who slowed down after a solid first half.

However, star edge rusher Nick Bosa was blanketed, producing zero pressures for the first time all season, despite facing off against a rookie in offensive tackle Abraham Lucas for the majority of the game.

Instead, it was Charles Omenihu who starred, as the 25-year-old defensive end recorded yet another five-pressure game, including two sacks and the game-changing strip sack on Smith.

Arik Armstead recorded another playoff sack, adding to his impressive resume, while accumulating three pressures as well.

In the run game, Bosa played a role, recording three run stops, which was second behind Dre Greenlaw on the team.

Overall, the 49ers' pass rush seemed limited against a below-average Seahawks offensive line, although they picked up their performance in the second half to force some poor decisions out of Geno Smith.

Linebackers: B+

Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw had solid games in run defense, with the former recording six tackles and two run stops and the latter earning 11 tackles and four run stops of his own.

Greenlaw had the biggest miscue of the day for the group, taking a poor angle on a Kenneth Walker outside-zone run for a touchdown, but for the most part, both players fulfilled their role, limiting explosive plays from a solid rushing attack, as the rookie running back had just 4.2 yards per carry on the day.

In coverage, Geno Smith preferred targeting outside the numbers, which had been the norm for the majority of the season.

Cornerbacks: B-

Charvarius Ward had a tough game against D.K. Metcalf, allowing six catches for 98 yards and a touchdown on eight targets, which included a 50-yard ball to the esteemed wideout on a go-route.

While he allowed just five catches for 48 yards on the other plays, and had tight coverage on some throws, he didn't have as strong of a performance compared to when the two teams met up in Week 15.

Deommodore Lenoir gave up a few catches, but wasn't targeted as much in man-coverage, and the second-year cornerback recorded a key interception that sealed the game for the 49ers.

Jimmie Ward didn't have a bad game coverage-wise out of the slot, but gave up an inexcusable 15-yard penalty at the end of the first half that provided the Seahawks a field goal opportunity to give them a 17-16 lead at halftime.

Safeties: B+

The safeties didn't have much action during the game, as Talanoa Hufanga and Tashaun Gipson had five and three tackles, respectively.

But, Gipson had a big-time tackle on Geno Smith when the quarterback attempted to fool the defense with a quarterback sneak, recording the tackle for loss.

It didn't appear that the Seahawks were looking to target the deep middle of the field, instead focusing outside the numbers and to the shorter part of the field, likely due to their offensive line, but that could change against the Dallas Cowboys and their vertical attack.
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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