49ers: Recapping the Game; Inside the Game; Featuring the “Secondary”

Niners Live provided you with the Pre Game Match ups to watch and a Postgame Summary of the game against NFC West rivals, Seattle Seahawks, in week two of the 2017 NFL season. Now we take the time to go deeper inside the game and discuss the positive, the negative and potential areas of improvement.

 

The San Francisco 49ers’ secondary played fiercely against the Seahawks in a bitter 12-9 loss. Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson was held to 198 yards passing. The secondary recorded four passes defended, broke up passes with big hits and was very close to an interception.  Eric Reid left the game with a knee injury, but showed amazing toughness by leaving the game and then returning before exiting permanently. Despite losing, this game was an identity setter for the entire defense. The 49ers’ defense will not be pushed over this season!!!!!!!

Cornerbacks:

Starters Rashard Robinson and Dontae Johnson held their opposing receivers under 100 yards. Doug Baldwin, 44 yards, and Tyler Lockett, 64 yards weren’t allowed to any game-breaking plays. Robinson and Johnson are battling every play and are playing aggressive in both the pass and run games.  Robinson was in tight coverage and in a perfect position for an interception, however, Nickel back K’Waun Williams also made a play on the ball and deflected the ball before it reached Robinson.

Williams was picked on during this game, but he held his own. He is a fundamental tackler who is an asset to the run game and stopping receivers after the catch. He recorded two pass break ups, with one in the end zone.

Recently assigned to the practice squad, Asa Jackson, saw action over third-round pick rookie, Ahkello Witherspoon, who was inactive for the second straight week.

Grade: B

Box Safety and Free Safety “Eraser”:

Starting free safety Jimmie Ward made his debut and showed promising play. Ward finished the game with five tackles and a pass break up. His play will improve as he gets in football shape and repetitions in the new defense.  

Jaquiski Tartt laid the lumber all game. He was crucial in holding Jimmy Graham to one catch for one yard. It looks like Tartt has carved a role into this defense. Tartt gives the 49ers’ secondary a big and agile defender who can cover tight ends. He is also a force in the run game.

Adrian Colbert saw snaps on special teams. He will see some action if Reid is out for an extended period of time.

Eric Reid showed his teammates and the Niners Faithful, that he is a warrior who will not leave the field unless his body breaks down.  He twisted his knee during the game and will have an MRI on Monday. While in the game, he had another solid performance.This is projected to be his best season as a pro, barring serious injuries.

Grade: A      

Insights: The front seven provided a steady pass rush during the game which allowed the corners and safeties to cover for less time. 

The 49ers have contained two Pro Bowl tight ends in the first two weeks of the season, Carolina Panthers Greg Olsen with one catch for 18 yards, and aforementioned Graham, with one catch for one yard.

Expectations heading into week three versus the Los Angeles Rams: 

DC Robert Saleh and secondary coach Jeff Hafley will be encouraged by the play of the secondary in week two. They kept the game close and played a violent style of play.  The 49ers face a young passer in Jared Goff, and the secondary must feast. Goff telegraphed a game-ending interception this week versus the Redskins. He can be tricked into bad throws and still eyes down receivers. Robinson will have his hands full covering Sammy Watkins. The Rams will try to feature Tavon Austin in the slot, which will be William’s biggest challenge so far. Rookie Cooper Kupp has impressed so far, and the secondary must account for him. After this game, the secondary is ascending and will look to take things up a notch versus the Rams.

49er updates, interviews and news:

Post game quotes,  Hoyer recaps his playfull highlights, and here’s what head coach Kyle Shanahan had to say about Sunday’s performance (via the team’s website).

Please join us again soon on Niners Live, the home of the faithful fan and analyst from an objective/analytical lens, of course.

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All records, statistics, and accolades are courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.comPro Football Focus49ers.comESPN.comNFL.com unless otherwise indicated. Author Jimi Payne Staff Writer at Niners liveContent Creator, EditorSequoia Sims