49ers vs. Lions: 5 Individual Matchups to Watch in Week 16

3 of 6

August 24, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers nose tackle Ian Williams (93) during the third quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Levi’s Stadium. The 49ers defeated the Chargers 21-7. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Nose Tackle Ian Williams

One of the unsung bright spots within San Francisco’s defense has been the play of defensive tackle Ian Williams.

Williams, a free agent in 2016, has been one of the better run-stoppers within the 49ers defensive front. And Jeff Deeney of Pro Football Focus points out just how solid he has been overall this season.

Detroit’s running game isn’t very good and is averaging just 84.4 yards per game — second lowest in the NFL entering Week 16.

But fans will recall how the lowly Cleveland Browns’ rushing attack amassed 200-plus yards against the 49ers two weeks ago. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter try to replicate the Browns’ success versus the 49ers run defense.

To prevent this, Williams will need to be atop his game against Detroit running backs Ameer Abdullah and Joique Bell.

Williams should have plenty of incentive given his uncertain offseason status.

Next: Linebacker Aaron Lynch