49ers defensive grades from first half of 2022 NFL season

Fred Warner #54 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Fred Warner #54 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /
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Talanoa Hufanga, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers safety Talanoa Hufanga (29) Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

49ers 1st-half defensive grades: Secondary

San Francisco 49ers. . B. . Secondary

A year ago, most 49ers fans would be hoping for anything above a D-grade for the defensive backfield.

Now, eight weeks in, the Niners secondary is actually something of a strength. A big one at that.

Two things (or players) stand out here the most: Charvarius Ward, whose presence has completely solidified the cornerback room, and safety Talanoa Hufanga in light of his playmaking ways at the most opportune moments.

Ward is forcing opposing quarterbacks to toss a 63.1 passer rating when targeting him in coverage, while Hufanga not only leads San Francisco with three interceptions but is also one of the NFL leaders at safety with six passes broken up thus far.

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Overall, the 49ers pass defense has held opponents to an average of just 5.7 yards per play, which is currently seventh best after eight weeks. And while the pass rush has a lot to do with that, good coverage on the back end has made a big difference, too.

This also takes into account the very serious loss of fellow cornerback Emmanuel Moseley to a season-ending ACL tear after he was enjoying what looked to be the best season of his career up to that point. The Niners have also struggled to identify a true nickel cornerback, too, but the overall result from this group still suggests San Francisco’s defensive backfield is in great shape.

Far from perfect, but a B-grade is so much better than what was displayed a year ago at this time.

Next. 49ers offensive grades from first half of 2022 season. dark