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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

PFF’s best and worst graded 49ers players vs. Lions, plus snap counts

Jan 29, 2024 at 11:02 AM--

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The San Francisco 49ers beat the Detroit Lions 34-31 during the NFC Championship Game. 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

Tackle Trent Williams emerged as the highest-graded player for the San Francisco 49ers. His impressive 90.2 overall grade marked the second-highest of the season, peaking at 93.2 in Week 17 against the Commanders. Williams' 88.9 pass-blocking grade was his second-highest of the season after Week 2 against the Los Angeles Rams (88.4). He didn't allow a single pressure in the game, standing out as the sole offensive lineman for the 49ers to achieve this feat.

Deebo Samuel finished the game with a team-leading eight receptions for 89 yards on nine targets. The wide receiver has recorded an overall grade of at least 85.1 in each of this season's two playoff games (85.7 last week vs. Packers). Samuel's 88.1 receiving grade this season is a career-high.

Tight end George Kittle's 80.4 overall grade is his highest since Week 14 against the Seahawks (83.5). He hauled in two receptions for 27 yards while earning a run-blocking grade of 85.0, his second-highest of the season after Week 2 against the Rams (86.0). It's a significant improvement over the 36.9 run-blocking grade the tight end earned against the Green Bay Packers in the Divisional Round.

Quarterback Brock Purdy's 72.4 overall grade is his second-highest postseason grade ever (73.6 vs. Seahawks in the 2022 Wild Card). Finishing the game 20 of 31 for 267 yards and a touchdown, Purdy also contributed five rushes for 48 yards. He was 13 of 16 for 174 yards and a touchdown in the second half.

The hero of the game, wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, narrowly missed the top five players on the 49ers' offense. His 72.4 overall grade tied Purdy's. Aiyuk finished the game with three receptions for 68 yards and a touchdown on eight targets.

On the defensive side of the ball, Nick Bosa earned the highest grade of the game. His 80.2 overall grade was his highest since week 15 against the Arizona Cardinals. Bosa finished the game with three tackles, two takes for a loss, four quarterback hits, and two sacks of Jared Goff. Pro Football Focus credits the pass rusher with an impressive eight total pressures. The player with the second-most pressures was defensive tackle Arik Armstead, who had four.

Cornerback Charvarius Ward's 75.6 coverage grade was the highest on the team, contributing to his 73.7 overall grade. This marked his highest postseason overall grade since joining the 49ers in 2022. He allowed one catch for seven yards in coverage.

Linebacker Fred Warner rounded out the top three on the 49ers defense. His 76.2 run-defense grade tied his best mark (Week 17 vs. Commanders) over the past seven games. Warner finished the game with a game-leading 13 tackles, a tackle for a loss, and a pass defensed.

Ambry Thomas continues to struggle and could be a weak spot heading into the 49ers' Super Bowl 58 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs. The cornerback has earned poor marks in back-to-back playoff games, with his 35.9 overall grade against the Lions and his 32.0 overall grade against the Packers being season lows. Goff targeted Thomas four times, completing two passes for 39 yards.

Rookie safety Ji'Ayir Brown didn't fare much better in his first start since returning from a knee injury. His 35.1 overall and 39.7 coverage grades are career lows. Brown allowed four catches for 54 yards on seven targets.

Snap Counts

66 - Aaron Banks (LG), Brock Purdy (QB), Colton McKivitz (RT), Jake Brendel (C), Jon Feliciano (RG), Trent Williams (LT)
64 - George Kittle (TE)
60 - Christian McCaffrey (RB)
56 - Brandon Aiyuk (WR)
51 - Deebo Samuel (WR)
40 - Kyle Juszczyk (FB)
28 - Jauan Jennings (WR)
11 - Charlie Woerner (TE)
8 - Chris Conley (WR)
6 - Elijah Mitchell (RB)
3 - Brayden Willis (TE), Ray-Ray McCloud III (WR)

72 - Charvarius Ward (CB), Deommodore Lenoir (CB), Dre Greenlaw (LB), Fred Warner (LB), Ji'Ayir Brown (SS), Tashaun Gipson Sr. (SS)
70 - Nick Bosa (DE)
56 - Chase Young (DE)
53 - Arik Armstead (DT)
51 - Javon Hargrave (DT)
42 - Ambry Thomas (CB)
22 - Javon Kinlaw (DT)
16 - Oren Burks (LB)
15 - Kevin Givens (DT)
14 - Logan Ryan (FS), Randy Gregory (LOLB)
5 - Sebastian Joseph-Day (DT)
2 - Robert Beal Jr. (DE)

Special Teams
22 - Charlie Woerner
21 - Brayden Willis, Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles
20 - George Odum
15 - Chris Conley, Darrell Luter Jr.
14 - Dee Winters, Jake Moody (K), Jordan Mason
13 - Robert Beal Jr.
12 - Isaiah Oliver
8 - Mitch Wishnowsky (P), Ray-Ray McCloud III, Taybor Pepper (LS)
7 - Aaron Banks, Ben Bartch, Colton McKivitz, Fred Warner, Jaylon Moore, Jon Feliciano, Spencer Burford
6 - Deommodore Lenoir, Oren Burks
5 - Ambry Thomas, Javon Kinlaw, Kevin Givens, Randy Gregory, Tashaun Gipson Sr.
4 - Logan Ryan
3 - Ji'Ayir Brown
1 - Arik Armstead, Brandon Aiyuk, Charvarius Ward, Chase Young, Dre Greenlaw, George Kittle, Jauan Jennings, Javon Hargrave, Kyle Juszczyk, Nick Bosa

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