San Francisco 49ers defense Is rolling through Four Weeks
By John Wozniak
There are several mouth-watering ties in Week 6 of the NFL. one of this week’s stand out games is an NFC West divisional game. Can the San Francisco 49ers defence stop The Los Angeles Rams’ (2-3) offense as they did to The Browns in Week 6?
It seems a long time ago since the 49ers were a dominant force in the NFL. It’s been five full years since the ‘Gold Rush’ had a winning season, but 2019 looks promising. Kyle Shanahan has assembled a talented roster, and he has the 2nd ranked defense going into Sunday’s game.
At 4-0, the 49ers are arguably the surprise package of the season. Kyle Shanahan’s team are playing with confidence, but Sunday’s game is their toughest to date.
The Rams have been a surprising for the wrong reason; they haven’t quite clicked as they did in 2018. Two defeats followed a good start to the season of three consecutive victories. Another defeat in Week 6 could edge Sean McVay’s team towards a Wildcard playoff berth.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS DEFENSE SPOTLIGHT
A lot of things have changed for the 49ers, and it starts with their brilliant pass-rush unit. Dee Ford and DeForest Buckner have accounted for five of the 49ers’ 13 sacks on the season. Signing Ford was a bold move by the San Francisco front office. Here, The Touchdown breaks down three defensive players on the Niners roster:
Ford would be an asset to any of the league’s 53 man rosters. 22 General Managers passed up on the chance to select him in the 2014 NFL Draft, a big plus for the Chiefs. The former Auburn star was heading for Kansas with the 23rd overall pick.
In March, The Kansas City Chiefs gave Ford the non-exclusive franchise tag – he would have earned approximately $15m had he stayed at the Arrowhead Stadium. The 49ers traded for Ford and in return, the Chiefs have a second-round pick in the 2020 draft.
Ford’s numbers are impressive. Through 71 games, Ford has had 43 starts, picking up 32.5 sacks, with a season-high of 13 in 2018. Ford has contributed to whichever defense he has represented with 139 combined sacks, 104 solo tackles, 35 assists on tackles and 37 tackles for loss.
The numbers highlight why Ford is a quarterback’s nightmare; he finds his target quickly after the snap. For good measure, Ford has 71 quarterback hits. In 2018, Ford also had seven forced fumbles.
2018 was Ford’s stand out year. Pro Football Focus rated him with an 87.7 grade. It’s easy to figure out why Kansas City franchised tagged him, and why the 49ers gave up a second-round pick for his services.
Rams quarterback Jared Goff may not have to face Ford on Sunday night – the Edge Rusher missed the previous game with a quadriceps injury. Can Ford continue in 2019 where he left off in 2018? Yes, he can. Just don’t mention his neutral zone infraction in last season’s Divisional game…
The 49ers selected DeForest Buckner with the 7th overall pick of the 2016 draft. The former Oregon defensive tackle had six sacks in his rookie year. The Pro Football Writers Association selected Buckner in the ‘All-Rookie Team’ of 2016.
Buckner’s second year wasn’t so productive. He recorded three sacks, despite starting all 16 regular-season games. 2018 was Buckner’s breakout year. During that season, Buckner registered 12 sacks, 67 combined tackles, 44 solo tackles, 23 assisted tackles and 17 tackles for loss.
It’s in a one-on-one situation where Buckner is dangerous, he is strong and quick off the mark. He’s able to use his hands to get leverage against the offensive lineman. Once he’s beaten his man, Buckner will get to the quarterback. The Pro Bowler can do the rest of the talking on this video compilation of his 2018 sacks:
San Francisco’s pass rush unit includes an elite rookie. Several NFL experts had Nick Bosa as the No.1 overall pick in the 2019 draft. Bosa dropped to the second overall pick, adding more quality to the San Francisco 49ers defense.
The NFL community is monitoring Bosa’s progress with interest. The 49ers put the Cleveland Browns to the sword on Prime Time TV on Monday night, and Bosa had a stand out game. Bosa sacked Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield twice, and the rookie also registered five quarterback hits.
Bosa can become a better football player than his older brother Joey, and the former Buckeye will be a key player for the 49ers’ in their march to the NFC West Divisional title.
During the first five weeks, The Rams offensive line have allowed eight sacks on their quarterback. Goff has had 235 dropbacks this season, and that number will rise on Sunday. Sean McVay will need Goff to release the ball quickly against a frisky Niners defense.
You can’t win football games unless you move the chains when you have the football, and get to the quarterback when you don’t. The 49ers have improved in all three phases of the game. Watch closely for the San Francisco 49ers defense, they have the personnel to take the franchise to the playoffs.
The Rams were undefeated against the Niners in 2018, but it will be a tougher test this time around. Don’t miss this one, make sure you record the game if you’re heading to London for the International Series.
A MBA graduate and former soldier. John also writes for the Scorecrow. His passion for the game grows, and a love for The Chargers came during a visit to San Diego. John would’ve loved to have been a running back.