After a convincing win against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football, here are your Week 12 Studs and Duds of the game. The 49ers are now two games ahead of the Packers in the NFC overall and maintain a one-game lead over the Seahawks in the NFC West division with a 10-1 record.

Studs


Contract Year Players


Defensive back Jimmie Ward and defensive end Arik Armstead were former first-round draft picks in the 2014 and 2015 drafts, respectively, and were often maligned by fans because of their inconsistent play. Injuries have obviously been a factor but heading into this season, it was a big question mark whether either player would feature in the long-term plans of General Manager John Lynch and Head Coach Kyle Shanahan. Armstead is entering the final year of his rookie deal with the fifth-year option picked up ($9 million) while Ward is slated to become a free agent after signing a one-year, $4.5 million deal.

As Richard Sherman alluded to in his post-game comments, both Ward's and Armstead's stellar play on Sunday Night has them in line for significant pay raises in the open market as free agents.



Armstead led the defensive line with two sacks, five pressures, four quarterback hits, and one tackle for loss. He now has reached double-digit sacks (10) for the first time in his career.

Conversely, Ward was flying all over the field with five tackles and two pass breakups. Both of his pass breakups came on crucial third downs. As a group, the 49ers' secondary limited Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers to just 104 passing yards and one touchdown; that equates to a 75.8 passer rating with 3.2 yards per attempt—all career lows for Rodgers.

Daniel Brunskill


As David Lombardi of The Athletic reported, 49ers offensive tackle Justin Skule -- a rookie replacing Joe Staley -- was dealing with a bruised leg entering this game. The 49ers wanted to stick with Skule because of his experience at left tackle while Brunskill had strictly been at right tackle this season.


However, Skule was ineffective as the 49ers' offense struggled early thanks to the pass rush on his side by Packers' Za'Darius Smith. As a result, San Francisco decided to make the switch and plugged in Brunskill at left tackle.


Brunskill did not allow a pressure the rest of the game as the 49ers' offense ascended forward with 27 points and 11.3 yards per play. It's amazing to see how seamless the transition was considering how many shuffles the 49ers have had at the position all season.

George Kittle


The 49ers are a different team when their star tight end is on the field. Despite dealing with a bone chip in his ankle, George Kittle led the team with six catches for 129 receiving yards, including an impressive 61-yard touchdown off play-action. Kittle's duality as both a run-blocker and receiver kept the Packers' defense honest. On the touchdown play, the 49ers' offense lined up in what looked to be a stretch run play to the right; Kittle initially runs a post route before turning to the outside for his longest play of the season. If that's Kittle on an injured ankle…


Duds


Offensive Line


Considering this was a 37-8 blowout win, I found it difficult to nitpick the duds for the game -- bear with me on these points. The 49ers came out to an early 7-0 lead as the defense spotted them an easy touchdown from the Packers' two-yard line after 49ers linebacker Fred Warner strip-sacked Rodgers and defensive end Nick Bosa recovered the fumble on the Packers' opening drive. The 49ers had two quick three-and-outs to start the second quarter but were able to maintain a respectable 10-0 first quarter lead. But considering the ability of Rodgers and the Green Bay passing offense, it certainly kept the 49ers on edge.


Packers' edge rushers Preston Smith and Za'Darius Smith led the way early on but thankfully, the 49ers' offense finally clicked in the latter stages of the game.

Tevin Coleman


While the running game was effective for the first time in weeks, it wasn't because of the 49ers' starting running back. Tevin Coleman punched in their first touchdown of the game but finished with 11 carries for 39 rushing yards for a 3.5 yard per carry average. Conversely, Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr. finished with 7.5 yards per carry and 13.5 yards per carry, respectively.

Coleman has been struggling ever since his three-touchdown performance against the Panthers in Week 8. I thought this game was an ideal situation for him to get back on track as Packers are just the 26th ranked run defense.

Injuries at Defensive End


Despite the 10-1 record, injuries continue to pile up for the 49ers. Just two weeks after signing defensive end Damontre Moore, Moore left the game in the third quarter. It was revealed today that Moore has a broken forearm and is headed to the injured reserve list. This is the third straight week with injuries for the defensive line.

Ronald Blair III tore his ACL two weeks ago against the Seahawks, which prompted the 49ers to look into Moore. Dee Ford left the game last week with a hamstring injury and is questionable to play moving forward.

  • Justin Wong
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    Justin Wong has been writing for the 49ers Webzone since 2017 while also running an NFC West blog and podcast called Just The West. Feel free to follow him, or direct any inquiries to @JustTheWest on Twitter.