Special teams coverage units are one of the oft-overlooked units in football. We talk about the kicker and punter, as well as return men, but coverage units are key — particularly punt return coverage.
Which brings us to Raheem Mostert. The 49ers running back is arguably the team’s best player on special teams, and we’re seeing it on the stat sheet. Mostert had three special teams tackles in Week 2 (h/t 49ers PR director Bob Lange), and he now leads the league with five such tackles.
Mostert was all over the field on special teams, but his highest profile tackle came on his coverage of Lions return man Jamal Agnew in the second quarter. Watch below as he stops him for no gain with a perfect tackle.
This weekend, the 49ers travel to face the Kansas City Chiefs. We’ve heard plenty about the prolific Chiefs offense, but they also lead the league in punt return average. They are averaging 37.3 yards per return on four punt returns. Tyreek Hill has three returns for 101 yards and a touchdown, and De’Anthony Thomas has one return for 48 yards.
Punt coverage sometimes require a strong team effort, but as we saw in Mostert’s big tackle of Agnew, the key can often be winning a one-on-one battle. Mostert made a great tackle, but just as importantly, he got off the block at the line and got in position to make the play. The 49ers are going to need that in a big way this weekend against the Chiefs.