No. 2: 49ers Defensive End Arik Armstead
One could safely make the argument veteran defensive end Arik Armstead has been one of the 49ers’ biggest unsung heroes this season, only posting a single sack despite being one of the team’s highest-paid players.
Sure, the raw stats need to go up to help justify his sizable contract. But Armstead’s efforts don’t always show up on the stat sheet anyway.
During the game, the Niners tallied 10 pressures, according to Pro Football Focus, and Armstead recorded two of those while also recording a team-best 89.2 defensive grade. He also should have drawn a crucial holding call in the end zone that could have gone for a safety, yet the officials instead elected to call another hold elsewhere that was beyond the goal line and didn’t result in two points for San Francisco and a free kick.
Again, things that won’t show up in the stat sheet.
Armstead has done his job well this season even if the numbers won’t reflect it, and the 49ers defensive line is vastly better with him in the mix, especially if it frees up the team’s pass-rushers, as was the case with the No. 1-performing player from the Niners in Week 5.