49ers get good game grades from complete win over Falcons

Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /
3 of 4
49ers, Arden Key
San Francisco 49ers defensive end Arden Key (98) Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports /

49ers Defensive Grades vs. Falcons

The 49ers defense came to play, and despite a couple issues in the secondary, this side of the ball proved it, dominating the trenches and the second level whenever possible.

Defensive Line

The Niners ended the game with three sacks, which should have been four when considering Arden Key’s sack that was incorrectly and terribly called roughing the passer.

Still, this unit held the Falcons’ rushing attack to a 2.7 yards-per-carry clip, all but limiting hybrid offensive weapon Cordarrelle Patterson. San Francisco’s defensive line held firm in the red zone when having to hold the line of scrimmage, and Atlanta went just 1-of-5 with touchdowns here.

The D-line played phenomenal all around.

Special attention should be given to Key, who has truly emerged as an interior rushing presence that perfectly complements fellow linemen Arik Armstead and Nick Bosa.

But everyone on the line had a positive impact on this game.

Grade: A+


The 49ers linebackers as a whole didn’t have the flashy performance Azeez Al-Shaair had two weeks ago, but they were fundamentally solid and always in position. Fred Warner had arguably his best game of the season, providing strong support in the run and pass game. He was always around the ball and always there to make a play.

Despite the fact that the 49ers” second and third linebackers behind Warner were both out, you could hardly notice a difference on the field.

That’s a testament to the entire position group.

Grade: A


The Niners’ safeties were phenomenal. Jaquiski Tartt and Jimmie Ward both made game-changing plays, and even when they weren’t pressed up against their end zone, they made the plays necessary to win the game.

A thoroughly underrated duo, this tandem deserves all the praise from the game.

The cornerbacks, though, were more of a mixed bag.

Ambry Thomas was in position multiple times to make a play, but he never managed to actually make a play on the ball, making interceptions almost completions and pass-breakups easy touchdowns. The rookie clearly had issues making plays in the air, and it cost San Francisco. Josh Norman didn’t play much better on the other end, but luckily the 49ers defense was so dominant overall, there weren’t huge issues because of the secondary.

Grade: B