Game Ball No. 2: 49ers Defense
The entire defense showed up and showed out, from the very first Packers drive, and did not let up.
Up front, Nick Bosa was a game wrecker, while D.J. Jones had a monster game after missing time with a groin injury. He stuffed the run like a Thanksgiving turkey. Defensive end Arik Armstead recorded two sacks and lived in the backfield, and defensive tackle DeForest Buckner applied pressure up the middle on Rodgers, making him very uncomfortable.
At the next level, Fred Warner came through with another huge prime-time performance! Blitzing from various alignments, roaming sideline to sideline and doing his best Kwon Alexander impersonation by firing the team up with his infectious energy, Warner finished the game with 11 tackles and the strip sack of Rodgers, which was the game’s only turnover.
There were so many plays made in the secondary Sunday night, that it makes it almost impossible to remember that this time last year there was endless finger pointing and miscommunication back there. The reoccurring theme in our Niner Noise live game thread Sunday night was “Healthy Jimmie Ward is Elite.” Kudos to general manager John Lynch sticking with Ward this offseason on a one-year prove-it deal.
Ward was flying around everywhere making stops in run support as well as in coverage. His best play of the night was the pass breakup on third down, where Rodgers extended a play and hit tight end Jimmy Graham deep up the right sideline. Ward played through Graham’s hands all the way to the ground and jarred the ball loose, forcing a punt.
Cornerback Emmanuel Moseley started for Ahkello Witherspoon and was solid once again. Witherspoon himself played more than he did in his first game back from a foot injury, and look like his old self covering Pro Bowler Devante Adams.