3 crazy 49ers stats in 2021 (and why they make absolutely no sense)

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /
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Josh Norman, San Francisco 49ers, Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings
San Francisco 49ers cornerback Josh Norman (26) against Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 1: 49ers pass defense is (gulp)… good?

Yes, it helps to have an All-Pro kind of pass-rusher in EDGE Nick Bosa. His team-leading 11 sacks and 16 tackles for a loss has taken a lot of pressure off a depleted and frequently argued-about 49ers defensive backfield.

Generally speaking, there have been far more complaints than compliments about the Niners secondary this season, particularly cornerback Josh Norman, whose six penalties against currently lead the team, five of them coming by way of defensive pass interference.

Yet Norman also leads the league with six forced fumbles this season, too, proving San Francisco is willing to accept the veteran’s grabbiness for his ability to knock the ball loose.

But that’s not the surprising statistic here.

Despite no other pass-rusher behind Bosa having no more than three sacks thus far into 2021, the 49ers pass defense is averaging only 6.1 yards per attempt this season. That’s good for 10th best in the league and quite the shock, considering the secondary is widely seen as the team’s weakest unit.

More surprisingly, though, is the fact the Niners have surrendered only 2,280 pass yards on the season, which is good for sixth.

That’s an average of just over 207 pass yards per game. For the football novice, that’s not a lot.

However it’s happening, the stats reveal San Francisco’s pass defense isn’t necessarily as bad as it’s often made out to be.

Hopefully, that trend continues into the final stretch of the season.

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