The San Francisco 49ers have had two very impressive pass-rushing performances this season. The first was against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2 and the second was on Sunday, the Week 4 game against the Arizona Cardinals.
Of course, both teams have terrible offensive lines. Still, the 49ers had a gameplan with their pass-rush, and they executed it. They looked good bringing down Carson Palmer six times for a loss of 40 yards. But they were even better than you know, at least according to stats from Pro Football Focus.
In Week 4 across the NFL, there were 13 sacks that came in 2.5 seconds or fewer — the 49ers had a total of four of those sacks on Sunday. That means only two of their six sacks came after 2.5 seconds had elapsed.
That right there is a combination of poor offensive line play from the Cardinals and exceedingly strong play-calling on the defensive side of the ball for the 49ers. DeForest Buckner has been dominant overall, but you can’t get sacks like that four times unless a weakness is being exploited by play design.
We’ll have some gif breakdowns and film study of the 49ers’ sacks earned and sacks allowed a bit later on, but I did want to highlight this stat at least.
The 49ers pressured Palmer on 21 of 57 dropbacks (36.8 percent). Palmer had a passer rating of 96.1 when kept clean and just 53.5 when under pressure. That’s fairly significant, and a good sign for a young defense moving forward.