Niners Nuggets: 49ers defense is dominating

The San Francisco 49ers returned to the practice field Thursday afternoon in Santa Clara as they begin preparations for an important game against the Los Angeles Rams. The winner of Monday’s matchup will leave with lead in the NFC West.

Injury Update

Daniel Brunskill returned to practice on Thursday after missing time with a hamstring injury. He has played every position along the offensive line since joining the 49ers in 2019.

While San Francisco got Brunskill back, Arik Armstead continues to miss practice with a foot injury. The injury kept Armstead out of the lineup on Sunday night. Kyle Shanahan said he is hopeful Armstead will be able to play Monday night.

Joining Armstead on the sidelines for Thursday’s practice were Ty Davis-Price, Tyler Kroft, Ross Dwelley, Trent Williams, Azeez Al-Shaair, Ross Dwelley, Javon Kinlaw, and Danny Gray.

According to the team, Kinlaw missed practice due to a knee injury and Gray was held out with a hip injury. No further information was provided. 


Running Backs Jordan Mason and Austin Mack played only five snaps against Denver. According to Kyle Shanahan both are as ready as can be and their lack of snaps was due to the offenses inability to stay on the field.

San Francisco signed Tevin Coleman to the practice squad last week. Had the game not been at altitude in Denver it was likely he would have been active Sunday night. Something to keep an eye on this week.


San Francisco will face a different opponent on Monday night; however, the Rams defense will look familiar to them.

Seattle, Denver, and Los Angeles all play similar defensive fronts and coverages. Of course, the Rams will be familiar with the 49ers as well. The chess match will be fascinating to watch unfold.

Dominating Defense

The 49ers defense has forced the most three and outs in the NFL this year. Of the 49ers 34 defensive series, 15 (44.1%) have resulted in a three and out.

In addition to the three and outs, the San Francisco defense has allowed only 28 points so far this season.

The offense needs to catch up.

This article has 8 Comments

  1. The D has looked outstanding and i’m not sure that they are near their best yet. If the O can just stay on the field for a few long drives a rested D could be unstoppable in the 4th quarter.

  2. The defense through 3 games has been historically great. Right now, the 49ers defense is on pace to give up 159 points on the season. To put that in perspective, the great 49er defense from 2019 gave up 310 points on the season. Last year the Bills had the best defense in the NFL relative to Points Allowed at 289 points in the regular season. This defense is special. It also puts into perspective exactly how putrid the 49ers offense has been this year considering the record is 1-2.

  3. With the continuing ascension of Hufanga and the soon return of Ward, the defense will get even better. Armstead should be a full go in a couple of weeks which will help solidify the overall strength of the D.

    My only concern along the frontline is Kinlaw. He may still be taking small steps to be at full capacity, but for my eyes, he is not all the way back yet.

    Is Kinlaw a liability? No. He is stout along the frontline. But I think that he has not yet reached his full potential. If he can get better with each game, this defense has the potential to be scary good by mid-season.
    By seasons end, we may resemble the 2000 Ravens.

  4. This 49ers defense is as good as any defense I’ve seen in a long long time, and I don’t believe they’ve even peaked yet.

    Unfortunately, it’s 2022, not 2002!

    Defenses don’t win championships anymore, and we saw that play out first hand in 2019. Sure, it’s great to have a championship “caliber” defense, but when your HC is stuck in yester-year, making the same mistake over and over again, and limiting himself at the QB position, the only difference a great defense makes is the difference between finishing in the middle of the pack of the NFC, and being a bottom feeder!

  5. The defense is special, but one could argue that a lot of resources have been devoted to it, perhaps to the detriment of the offense (particularly the OL).

    I often ask myself does it make sense to have a defensive line that has NFL starters 2 and 3 deep and an OL that is below average overall with the starters. I guess it somewhat does because you have to rotate DL more than OL. Further, it seems to make sense if you believe that KS is an offensive guru and can therefore scheme around the OL issues. Now a better QB would also help , but a relatively weak OL just increases the chances that the QB is going to take unnecessary hits which increases injury risk.

    So does it make sense to have an elite DL at the possible expense of the OL?

  6. Cubus,
    “So does it make sense to have an elite DL at the possible expense of the OL?”

    That’s a fair question. But all the recent analysis and assessments after only 3 games is too small of a sample size to cause criticism of Shanahan and Jimmy G, imho.

    Many people here pretty much said that we would know what type of 49ers team we have after 6-8 games. Seems like that sentiment has been floored after only 3 games.

    Shanahan has had to shuffle the offense to fit Garoppolo’s style, which is still a work in progress. On top of this, I take into consideration that Jimmy is still brushing off some rust from the 49ers not allowing him any activity over the summer.
    If the team looks this way after 8 games, then we can all chirp together.

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