49ers Defensive Grades
To hold a team that had scored 33 points a week ago to only 11 is a win for a defense, and although it wasn’t perfect from the 49ers’ vantage point, they did what they needed to do, and saw a player perhaps truly emerge as a difference maker for this team.
The Niners had two sacks on the day, both by Nick Bosa, and they managed to hold Miles Sanders and the Eagles running backs, by far their biggest weakness from a game ago, to only 3.6 yards per carry for a total of 69 yards.
But, there was one clear issue San Francisco had to deal with this game, and that was keeping contain on Jalen Hurts.
The defensive line was… less than successful in that regard.
Hurts ran for 82 yards on 10 carries, and though he got the majority of his yards on a chunk play, he constantly had an opportunity to break free of the pocket. The contain for the 49ers, for whatever reason, simply was not up to snuff, and the pressure wasn’t constant enough to make up for it.
Mobile quarterbacks are difficult for any defense to handle, but until the Niners consistently manage to show contain on the defensive line, it will stay a problem.
San Francisco’s linebackers weren’t targeted much in the game, as the Eagles kept their offense focused on exposing the 49ers secondary, but they played quite well. Azeez Al-Shaair wasn’t nearly as impactful or visible as last game, but he played well enough to make Dre Greenlaw’s injury absence unnoticeable.
Fred Warner was around the ball constantly for another game, making several plays particularly on that critical goal-line stop. Solid game from the linebackers.
Beyond a 91-yard strike where Deommodore Lenoir lost his balance, the Niners secondary more than showed up against an Eagles team that worked hard to explicitly target and attack them. Coverage down the field was solid, tackling was great, and the safeties made several plays along with the corners.
Josh Norman got two pass interference calls on his two targets, but he played decent for someone who had been signed just two weeks ago.
But the real star of the game was rookie fifth-round NFL Draft pick, Lenoir.
He gave up that long play, yes. But beyond that, he had impeccable coverage. He played the boundary perfectly, using it to squeeze away receivers and even had it take away a touchdown. He made every throw a contested window, even when he wasn’t explicitly involved in the pass breakup. It was a star turn for a rookie who may not ever give up his starting spot this year.