Backups enter stage right.
And how. The big name this week is Tramiane Brock, for obvious reason. He came in and dominated. But, we also saw a few other defensive players enter the game in place of injured starters. And, by and large, it seems like we have some pretty nice depth on this team. I would like to shine the spotlight on these fine gentlemen today.
Michael Wilhoite: 0.3 PFF Rating, 11 Tackles, 1 Assist, 1 Missed Tackle.
While it is difficult for anybody to approach Patrick Willis levels of awesome, Wilhoite has done about as well as you would hope a backup would do coming in for a Pro Bowl player. He had a decent game against the Texans, notching a team high 11 tackles. Where he really suffered, though, was in pass coverage. ProFootballFocus graded his coverage out to a -0.5, since the Texans notched 4 receptions on 5 targets against him. The receptions were at 24 yards, with 35 yards coming on top of that after the catch.
Dan Skuta: -0.1 PFF Rating, 3 Tackles, 1 Missed Tackle, 1 QB hurry.
Dan Skuta had, perhaps, the roughest day of any backup. He did play a good amount, even taking into consideration the fact that he was splitting time. Seeing 43 snaps throughout the game, he mainly had trouble on the pass rush front. He rushed the passer on twelve plays, only notching one QB hurry to show for his efforts. PFF graded him out at -0.6 in this regard.
Corey Lemonier: 2.1 PFF Rating, 1 QB hit, 2 QB hurries, 0 Tackles.
Whereas Skuta was solid against the run, but a bit shakier in pass rush, Lemonier had a great game in pass rush while basically not having any impact against the run. Sound like a convenient paring to have in backups, eh? The 2.1 rating is essentially based upon his strong pass rush. He did see 36 snaps throughout the day, but 21 of those were pass rush plays. The 1 QB hit and 2 QB hurries represents pretty consistent pressure, and we have got to hope that as he gets more experience the consistent pressure will turn into sacks. Lemonier did not have a tackle on the night, though, on 11 run plays. While we don't need Lemonier to turn into an every down player, it would be nice to see him start contributing against the run when he is in the game.
Tony Jerod-Eddie: 1.8 PFF Rating, 1 QB hit, 3 QB Hurries, 1 Tackle.
Given our (lack of) depth on the defensive line, it would be huge if Jerod-Eddie could be a consistently solid player. Against the Texans, he had a great game. The one time he dropped back into coverage, he came up with a brilliant interception. He added one tackle on 15 run plays. But, where he may have been most solid was in pass rush. Typically, I don't think of the d-line as being the source of much pass rush on our defense (non-Justin Smith division, of course), but in 14 pass rush opportunities, Jerod-Eddie had a four beautiful pressures on the QB in the form of one hit and three hurries.