49ers’ Defense Earns Praise From Opposing Pro Bowl CB [LOOK]


Getty Charvarius Ward and Tashaun Gipson celebrate a fumble recovery on December 15, 2022 in Seattle.

The San Francisco 49ers defense has been so impressive, even Pro Bowlers from other NFL rosters can’t help but marvel at the way the unit is playing — especially someone who lined up against the Niners during the last playoffs.

Dallas Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs was among those who couldn’t help but be in awe of the 49ers’ defense during their 21-13 road win over the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday, December 15. While Diggs plays on another highly-rated unit (Cowboys rank fifth in fewest yards allowed), he showed his respect online toward the 49ers’ defensive dominance on display at Lumen Field.

High praise coming from an opponent. And with both teams a combined 19-7, there’s a good chance Diggs and the Cowboys could see the 49ers again come late January.

Notable Team Defensive Stats From 49ers’ TNF Win

This time, the 49ers grounded an offense that ranked ninth overall in yards. Here’s some notable team stats accomplished:

Bottled receiving yards: Not a single Seahawks wideout finished with more than 69 yards receiving. And that included leader Tyler Lockett, who finished with seven catches for 68 yards. Pro Bowler D.K. Metcalf, meanwhile, was contained to 55 yards on seven catches. And the one who scored among the receiving group was tight end Noah Fant.

Lack of explosive runs: Not a single carry surpassed 19 yards facing the 49ers defense. The closest was Geno Smith who gained 18 on a QB scramble.

New sack mark made: The 49ers sacked Smith three times in the win…which now marks the fourth time this season the pass rush has hit that mark per Pro Football Reference. The 49ers have also delivered three other games when they surpassed the three-sack threshold.

Individual wise, there were some surprises in that realm.

Second-Year Defender Among Those Who Hit Career First

Surprisingly, the leading tackler was not Fred Warner. Not even Dre Greenlaw or Nick Bosa. Talanoa Hufanga also wasn’t tops in tackles.

It was a second-year defender who now delivered his first NFL game as the lead tackler: Cornerback Deommodore Lenoir.

The 2021 fifth rounder snatched a career-best 10 tackles with nine solo. He also delivered a stop behind the line of scrimmage. Warner ended up following with eight stops with six solo stops.

Hufanga, meanwhile, busted out this rare moment during what’s been an impactful second season in the league: He got a sack, his first since the October 9 win over the Carolina Panthers.

Once again, the 49ers denied the sky facing a top 10 passing unit. Here’s some notable coverage marks per Pro Football Focus.

Greenlaw: The outside linebacker was targeted seven times but surrendered five grabs for 55 yards. Lockett and Metcalf only combined for 18 yards with Greenlaw the nearest coverage defender.

Charvarius Ward: The cornerback had to leave early due to a concussion. However, when on the field he allowed five catches for 44 yards. And when aligned with Metcalf, he gave up four catches for just 33 yards.

Jimmie Ward: While six different receivers caught a pass against the veteran safety, no one gained 10 yards on him. Ward allowed just 27 yards his side.

Lenoir: While tested more than Ward with seven passes thrown his direction, plus allowing 39 yards on three catches to Lockett, Lenoir only allowed a combined 13 yards facing Fant, Kenneth Walker and Marquise Goodwin.

Lastly, Janoris “Jackrabbit” Jenkins received his first regular season action as a 49er once Ward left. The 34-year-old and 2016 Pro Bowler was tested twice and allowed two catches for 22 yards.

The 49ers put together the kind of night that won over Diggs. Perhaps they’ll see each other again after the season ends.

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