49ers Defensive Grades
Again, with a performance like today, no one gets a failing grade.
Defensive Line: A+
Rookie defensive end Nick Bosa has almost locked up the Defensive Rookie of the Year award, and it’s only halfway through the season. His impact has been incredible, no better seen than against the Panthers.
That’s right, Bosa finished with three sacks and an interception. He was a monster throughout the game, and with his pressure, it never felt like the Panthers had a chance. Arik Armstead also had two sacks, continuing his breakout year.
Now, Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey had 117 yards on the ground, but 80 of those yards came on two carries, one a 40-yard touchdown run which clearly showed linebacker Kwon Alexander being held.
Other than those two runs, the 49ers defensive line basically contained the star running back while also applying heavy pressure to quarterback Kyle Allen. They took over the game, finishing with seven sacks.
The 49ers linebacking tandem of Alexander and Fred Warner held McCaffrey to only 38 yards in the air. While that may seem like a lot, McCaffrey’s talent makes that a major victory.
All in all, the linebackers did their job. McCaffrey didn’t severely gash the 49ers in the pass game, especially when the linebackers were on him, and neither did tight end Greg Olsen.
Safety Jaquiski Tartt dropped an interception. That was the biggest negative from the 49ers secondary. Both starting cornerbacks, Richard Sherman and Emmanuel Moseley, managed to snag interceptions; the secondary limited big plays, allowing only 4.3 yards per attempt.
The 49ers defense was on another level against the Panthers. It may have allowed its most points since the Steelers game, but it also seemed to take over anything it had to do.