49ers don’t beat Eagles without these 4 Week 2 MVPs
By Peter Panacy
49ers MVP No. 1: Cornerback Deommodore Lenoir
Yes, the biggest play for either team came against rookie cornerback Deommodore Lenoir when he surrendered a 91-yard catch and run to Eagles wide receiver Quez Watkins.
Lenoir tripped on the play and then had to track Watkins down to prevent Philadelphia from scoring what would have been a key touchdown. Fortunately, thanks to players like Fred Warner on the 49ers’ subsequent goal-line stand, Philly didn’t score anyway. No harm, no foul.
What was more impressive from Lenoir, however, was how he responded. Instead of letting the big play against him get into his head and jeopardize his confidence, Lenoir kept at it with some solid coverage skills, finishing the game with five tackles and an impressive three pass breakups.
Additionally, Lenoir used the sidelines on a would-be Eagles touchdown that was called back with officials determining the receiver stepped out of bounds. Good situational awareness from Lenoir there, using the sideline as an additional defender.
Considering the Niners have watched their third-round NFL Draft pick, Ambry Thomas, struggle to the point of being inactive in Week 2, it’s refreshing to know Lenoir, a Round 5 selection, thrive early on.
A much-needed development, considering San Francisco is already experiencing attrition at the position.
Lenoir might continue to get targeted a lot, as it’s always common for opposing quarterbacks to go after rookies.
So far, though, Lenoir has responded and then some. He’s a big reason why the 49ers emerged victorious in Week 2.