49ers Defensive Grades
49ers defensive tackle DeForest Buckner was a force on Sunday, as the Pro Bowl candidate amassed an impressive stat line that included a game-high 11 tackles and four tackles for loss. Buckner’s also sacked Seattle’s mobile quarterback Russell Wilson twice, which elevated the defensive lineman’s season sack total to 11. Despite a lack of numbers, defensive end Solomon Thomas had a strong game, and defensive lineman Arik Armstead played well against the pass. The remaining members of San Francisco’s defensive line contributed little.
MIKE linebacker Fred Warner and WILL linebacker Elijah Lee were both active throughout the day. The duo paired up for 19 tackles, but neither made any significant plays. The 49ers would be wise to keep the two youngsters together for the remainder of the season so they can continue to build rapport. SAM linebacker Mark Nzeocha was active with a sack, a forced fumble and three tackles despite seeing the field for limited snaps.
After two straight bad games, cornerback Richard Sherman was back in form against his former team. Seattle instead chose to target the rest of the 49ers secondary, including cornerback Tarvarius Moore, who was forced into action after CB Ahkello Witherspoon sustained a knee injury early in the contest. As soon as he entered the game, Moore gave up a short touchdown catch to wide receiver Doug Baldwin, but the rookie improved as the game progressed. Baldwin scored again later in the game when free safety Antone Exum was given the opportunity to deliver a huge blow to the wideout, but whiffed on the play. Strong safety Marcell Harris was better in coverage than against the run, while nickel corner D.J. Reed struggled in coverage, but made a few key tackles.