SF 49ers position grades following lopsided Week 9 loss vs. Packers
By Peter Panacy
SF 49ers Defensive Grades
Last season during the NFC Championship game, the SF 49ers used their own rushing attack and lethal pass rush to dominate Green Bay, and Aaron Rodgers never got into a rhythm during the playoff blowout.
On Thursday, Rodgers had no trouble picking apart the Niners defense, which wasn’t aided by a complementary offense keeping that group off the field.
All to the tune of 405 total yards, 21 first downs and a 6-of-12 mark on third downs by the Packers.
A number of pressures from San Francisco’s defensive line, too few sacks. That’s been the story for this unit for almost all of 2020.
Newly acquired EDGE Jordan Willis picked up the SF 49ers’ lone sack of the night, albeit towards garbage time, while the remainder of the D-line looked awfully slow chasing down Rodgers in and out of the pocket. The lack of speed here has been a glaring weakness for the Niners.
If there’s a small bonus, at least San Francisco held running back Aaron Jones and Green Bay’s rush offense to 3.6 yards per carry.
Linebacker Fred Warner: A-plus. Everyone else: F-minus.
Warner was a beast, never letting up even when the game was essentially over at halftime, easily leading the SF 49ers defense with 13 combined tackles and displaying the tenacity a team leader needs to showcase.
Especially when things aren’t going so well elsewhere.
As for the rest? Well, backers Dre Greenlaw and Azeez Al-Shaair had difficulties in coverage, missed tackles on Jones and couldn’t prevent many of those intermediate-area third-down conversions by the Packers.
Despite their injuries, the SF 49ers have gotten some pretty solid play from their defensive backfield this season, entering the contest with the fourth-best pass defense.
That won’t be the case after giving up 305 pass yards and four touchdowns to Rodgers.
Cornerback Emmanuel Moseley was burned by wide receiver Davante Adams for Green Bay’s first score of the game, although Moseley had good coverage there and made up for it with a key pass breakup on a similar play not long thereafter. But this was offset by fellow corner Jason Verrett having his worst game of the season, including getting burned by Adams on this long play that could have gone for a score:
San Francisco also lost nickel corner K’Waun Williams and strong safety Jaquiski Tartt to game-ending injuries.
In Tartt’s stead, backup safety Marcell Harris also surrendered a touchdown, too, showing that maybe he hadn’t made a serious improvement in his pass-coverage skills from last year.
Surely not at 100 percent, health-wise, but a shoddy outing from the SF 49ers’ defensive backs.