No. 4: Tackling
It seems a bit strange criticizing any aspect of the 49ers defense. After all, it’s the No. 2 ranked defense in the league, both in terms of points and yards allowed per game.
But if San Francisco wanted to be even more effective on the defensive side of the ball, it could be a bit more efficient in tackling.
Pro Football Focus ranked the Niners No. 14 in the NFL in tackling, with a 58.5 team tackling grade here. San Francisco has 20 missed tackles on the year, per PFF, and EDGE Nick Bosa actually leads the 49ers defense in this category with four.
Granted, no one is complaining about Bosa’s efforts, and those will likely improve with time.
In contrast, PFF’s best tackling team is the Minnesota Vikings, who have an 84.8 grade. As a team, Minnesota has missed just 12 tackles on the year while having played one more game than San Francisco.
None of this is to question the Niners defense, of course. It’s been superb. But to get even better, shoring up tackling would do a lot of good.