Here is the defensive report card for the 49ers in their 34-28 victory over the Packers.
Defensive Line: A-
It was a good day for Justin Smith and Ray McDonald getting most of the snaps on this unit. Ian Williams played a limited number of snaps as the 49ers were seen in the nickel or dime defense for majority of the game. He looked good against the run. Tony Jerod-Eddie and Glenn Dorsey helped come in to give a few breathers for Williams, Smith and McDonald.
It was a very disappointing outing for Aldon Smith despite recording two sacks and delivering the final hurry on the last play of the game. The pressure from the OLBs was minimal and the 49ers failed to take advantage of the Packers young offensive tackles. David Bakhtiari held his ground against Aldon Smith minus a few mistakes.
On the positive side, the interior LBs in NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis both played well. Bowman forced a fumble which made the 49ers have the ball in the red zone and set up a touchdown. The running defense did well for the most part. Ahmad Brooks broke up a pass and was mostly seen in coverage.
Carlos Rogers, Tarell Brown and Nnamdi Asomugha looked like liabilities with Aaron Rodgers throwing the ball. Jordy Nelson consistently beat the CBs. Randall Cobb had a productive day mostly against Rogers. Asomugha was the biggest problem in tackling and giving up a few back breaking third down receptions. It was also a poor day of tackling from Asomugha and Perrish Cox.
The safeties had a positive game where Reid made a few mistakes, but he had an interception after it bounced off the hands of Jermichael Finley. Donte Whitner had a touchdown saving move when he pushed a receiver out of bounds making sure both feet don't land in-bounds.
Special Teams: B+
The 48-yard missed field goal attempt prevents this grade from being an "A". The kick and punt coverage were much improved from a year ago and it showed on the field. The biggest highlight was C.J. Spillman making a tackle at the five-yard line to bury the Packers on a kickoff. Andy Lee had one bad punt, but mostly had a solid day.
The secondary gave up quite a few yards to Aaron Rodgers and were very fortunate that turnovers happened to swing in their favor. The tackling was poor in Week 1 which led to several YAC plays from Nelson and Cobb. It was a little bit rusty with the starters not getting much playing time in the preseason, but the defense did come up with a clutch stop in the fourth quarter when the offense scored the go-ahead touchdown. The defense made just enough plays to win this game.