The San Francisco 49ers got the much-needed victory over the Atlanta Falcons in Week 15, improving their season record to 8-6 and maintaining their current spot as the sixth seed in the NFC Wild Card race. While the 49ers offense had its share of electric moments (and lots of them), it was the defense who shined, forcing three turnovers on downs, all inside of their own 10 yard line.
Jeff Deeney of Pro Football Focus highlighted several top players from each side of the ball coming off of Sunday’s victory. Here’s who stood out:
Tom Compton – 95.9 Overall Grade
Compton earned the highest grade of any offensive lineman in the NFL so far in Week 15. He had a clean sheet in pass blocking and garnered a run blocking grade of 96.8. San Francisco had 10 carries for 73 yards on runs outside the right tackle against the Falcons. Over the last five weeks, Trent Williams (92.9) and Tom Compton (91.9) are the two highest graded tackles in the NFL.
George Kittle – 91.0 Overall Grade
San Francisco’s All-Pro tight end was perfect on the day, hauling in all six of his targets for 93 yards. Four of his receptions gained a first down, and three went for over 15 yards. His 92.3 overall grade on the season leads all NFL tight ends. His 438 receiving yards over the last four weeks is the most of any player in the NFL.
Jimmy Garoppolo – 88.0 Overall Grade
Garoppolo finished his day completing over 78 percent of his passes for 235 yards and a touchdown in Sunday’s victory with two of his five incompletions being registered as drops.
His 10.2 yards per passing attempt and 90.9 adjusted completion percentage are the highest of any quarterback so far in Week 15. Over the last eight weeks, Garoppolo is the highest graded quarterback in the NFL (86.5).
Garoppolo was under pressure on just 4 of his 23 dropbacks (17.4 percent). While under pressure, the quarterback was perfect, completing all four of his passes for 34 yards and a score.
Deebo Samuel – 78.6 Overall Grade
Samuel finished the day catching four of his five targets for 60 yards and adding six carries for 29 yards and a touchdown. Two of Samuel’s receptions went for over 20 yards. Of his 60 yards receiving, 44 came after the catch. Twenty of his 29 rushing yards also came after contact.
Nick Bosa – 91.0 Overall Grade
Bosa’s 91.0 overall grade on the day was the highest of any edge defender in Week 15 that played more than 20 snaps. His nine quarterback pressures (1.0 sack, 8 hurries) were the most of any defensive player in Week 15. He also notched a forced fumble against quarterback Matt Ryan. Bosa is currently tied for third with Aaron Donald with 68 pressures on the season. Bosa has now registered at least 1.0 sack in six-consecutive games, the longest streak by a member of the 49ers since linebacker Aldon Smith had seven-straight in Weeks 7-14 of the 2012 season (Week 9 Bye).
His 15.0 sacks on the season are the most by a member of the 49ers since Smith had 19.5 in 2012. He is also tied for the fifth-most by a member of the 49ers in a single season since sacks became an official statistic in 1982.
Fred Warner – 79.4 Overall Grade
Warner was stout in limiting Atlanta to just 62 yards in the ground game. He earned a 90.4 grade against the run. He also allowed just 28 yards in coverage on his six targets on the day.
Arik Armstead – 76.7 Overall Grade
Armstead notched five total quarterback pressures (one hit, four hurries), as well as four run stops which tied for the most of any interior lineman so far in Week 15. He was instrumental in the first quarter goal line stand where he beat right guard Chris Lindstrom and helped force an incompletion. He was also key in a third-down stop where he held up wide receiver/running back Cordarrelle Patterson at the 49ers 1 yard line.
Samson Ebukam – 75.1 Overall Grade
Ebukam notched his second-consecutive game with four quarterback pressures (one sack, three hurries). Ebukam now has 2.5 sacks on the season and 16.5 in his career.
Key earned an 85.2 pass rush grade against the Falcons, notching five quarterback pressures on the day (one sack, one hit, three hurries). Over the last three weeks, Key ranks third behind T.J. Watt and Bosa with a pass rush productivity rating of 13.4 (of all NFL edge defenders with 50-plus pass rushes).
San Francisco’s pass rush had Ryan under pressure on 25 of his 39 dropbacks (64.1 percent), while only blitzing on 5 of 39 dropbacks (12.8 percent).
Per PFF, the 49ers defensive line combined for 22 pressures, 15 defensive stops and five tackles for loss or no gain.