The San Francisco 49ers have had a few players stand out when it comes to rushing the passer this season. DeForest Buckner has been exceptional, but has drawn many double teams because of it. Elvis Dumervil has come on strong as a reliable veteran with a limited snap count.
Against the Houston Texans in Week 14, the 49ers notched three sacks. Two of those were on Tom Savage, the starting quarterback with Deshaun Watson injured. The third was on T.J. Yates, the third stringer who came in to replace Savage after he went down with an injury.
As usual, we’re going to take a look at the sacks earned in addition to the other film study from the game. It’s a bit late in the week, but it’s been a busy one, so let’s just jump right into the film. I think the thing I like about these plays is that everything seemed to go right at all levels for the 49ers.
9:53 in in 1st Quarter, 3rd and 3 from SF 34: Savage sacked at SF 37 for -3 Yards (K’Waun Williams)
As a whole, the 49ers do a god job of collapsing Savage’s pocket, but it’s DeForest Buckner who creates the most chaos. He gets right in there, gets a hand on Savage, but can’t quite bring him down. That leaves plenty of time for K’Waun Williams, the nickel corner, to come in late and bring down Savage behind the line. Solomon Thomas gets decent push, but he’s double teamed, while Elvis Dumervil also does pretty well, but trips later in the play.
Savage’s underneath option is the only one that is even remotely viable by the time he has his feet set, but the 49ers have a man sticking to him like glue. In fact, at no point does any receiver on the field get open while Savage is still standing, from what I can see. Good play all around for the 49ers.
13:13 in 2nd Quarter, 2nd and 10 from HOUR 44: Savage sacked at HOU 37 for -7 yards (Eli Harold)
We’re not including coaches film with this one because there wasn't time for anything to even begin to develop downfield. The receivers are barely getting out of the camera frame when Savage is brought down by Harold, who comes around the right side completely unblocked. This was a blitz, with the 49ers sending an extra man on the right side, allowing Harold to remain unblocked.
3:04 in 4th Quarter, 3rd and 15 from HOU 34: Yates sacked at HOU 27 for -7 yards (DeForest Buckner)
Both of Buckner and Cassius Marsh beat their men on this play, but it’s Buckner who gets to Yates first. Marsh is right there, nearly close enough to earn half a sack on the play. Dumervil does a good job of getting past the guy chipping him, but has a tackle to contend with after that. Thomas is firmly rebuffed by his man.
Again, the pressure is in the quarterback’s face before any receiver begins to turn around. By the time first contact is made with Yates, two receivers are streaking, one is running up the seam and one is trying hard to get outside at the bottom of the screen. That one is the most dangerous given the route involved, but the 49ers handle it well. The man going across the seam is technically wide open at the end of this gif, but Yates is already on the ground by then.