The 49ers grinded out a close win over the Seahawks with a 19-17 victory on Sunday afternoon. Here are the grades for the defense and special teams:
Defensive Line: A-
It was a slow first half, but the defensive line was able to shut down Marshawn Lynch when the second half came. Seattle had the second-best rushing attack coming into this game and the Seahawks running back only had 72 yards on 20 carries. The pass rushers also stayed in their lanes to prevent Russell Wilson from breaking through on a scramble.
The only negative part about this grade is Patrick Willis getting beat by Luke Wilson for a 31-yard touchdown. Other than that, NaVorro Bowman was all over the field whether it was stopping the run or dropping in coverage. Willis did well as a spy as an emergency of Wilson chose to leave the pocket or not. Ahmad Brooks and Aldon Smith covered the outside as contain guys and did well at covering Zach Miller when needed.
Tramaine Brock, Donte Whitner and Eric Reid had outstanding games. I didn't see them targeted much unless it was in zone coverage, but they did well if playing man defense. Carlos Rogers was beaten consistently and the secondary gave up several third down conversions early on to keep drives alive. They made just enough plays when holding Seattle to a field goal in the second half, but coverage was soft at times. Eric Wright came back into the game after being injured and intercepted a late pass by Wilson.
Special Teams: B+
The kickoff coverage units were excellent throughout the game. Kassim Osgood blocked a punt which led to a field goal by Phil Dawson. Speaking of field goals, Dawson was automatic as he made all four attempts, which includes one from 52 yards. Andy Lee was averaging 49.8 yards per punt and he pinned Seattle inside the 20-yard line twice. The only negative on special teams was the 54-yard punt return by Golden Tate in the fourth quarter.
Vic Fangio had the right game plan to stop Russell Wilson and prevent any home run plays. While Lynch did well in the first half, the 49ers were able to win the battle in the trenches for the second half as Seattle's run game was gone. The secondary wasn't the greatest at execution, but they clamped down for the most part against an underrated Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse. Wilson did not have the elusiveness that he usually does in a game and several times he had to throw it away.
For grades on the 49ers offense, click here.