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PFF grades and snap counts from the 49ers/Falcons

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The depth was tested and they did not pass the test

NFL: DEC 15 Falcons at 49ers Photo by Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers were up nine in the second half, but couldn’t hold on late as the Atlanta Falcons mounted an impressive comeback. We’ve gone over the winners and losers, now it’s time to check out the PFF grades and snap counts on both sides of the ball.

Offense-64 total snaps

Seeing the number of snaps that Bourne played, it tells you that the 49ers relied on 11 personnel this game more than usual. That hasn’t been the offenses strong suit personnel-wise this season.

The running back snap counts were interesting. Mostert played almost as many plays as Coleman and Breida combined. Seeing the number of snaps that Bourne played, it tells you that the 49ers relied on 11 personnel this game more than usual. That hasn’t been the offenses strong suit personnel-wise this season.

Speaking of the passing game, the Falcons were 28th in DVOA at defending third and fourth receivers, and 30th at defending the No. 2 receiver, which makes the lack of involvement for the 49ers receivers even more puzzling. Shanahan leaned on 11 personnel from a formation standpoint, but hardly even targeted the group.

Top-five offensive grades

Kittle 91.6

Tomlinson 77.1

McGlinchey 70.5

Mostert 69.0

Staley 68.0

Staley gave up a sack, and a quarterback hit but played a clean game otherwise. McGlinchey just had the false start, but he was solid besides that. Tomlinson may have had his best game as a run blocker. As usual, Tomlinson didn’t allow any pressure in pass protection.

Mostert ran for 54 yards, and 51 of those came after contact. He also forced two missed tackles and ran for four first downs. His stat line wasn’t as impressive as it has been, but he was still effective on the ground. Kudos to the coaching staff for relying on him. I wish the running backs were more involved in the passing game. Kittle was Kittle, aside from the fumble.

Defense-67 total snaps

Bosa only missing four snaps is impressive. Shoot, Buckner, and Armstead playing that much is impressive. You can’t take those three off the field because there isn’t anyone to replace them like there was two months ago. Those three are playing their tails off, and I have nothing bad to say about them.

Top-five grades

Armstead 81.2

Day 77.7

Harris 77.3

Reed 75.5

Bosa 74.4

Ironically enough, the subs in the secondary were the players making plays, not the two cornerbacks that were top-10 in success rate heading into Sunday. Harris broke up two passes, and Reed played well aside from a penalty on third down. Most importantly, I thought the two tackled well. That’s something Jaquiski Tartt and K’Waun Williams have done all season.

Day went full D.J. Jones on his sack. He did a nice job of pushing the pocket on that play. Day also had two run stops on the afternoon and held up inside against Atlanta’s double teams. The 49ers will need Day to continue to play at this level moving forward, whether it’s fair to him or not.

Bosa being in the backfield as often as he was when you factor in the attention offenses are giving him tells you all you need to know about him as a player. He’s relentless. Armstead is just as good. The 49ers have to find a way to keep Arik around.

Bottom-five grades

Thomas 57.8

Valoaga 54.5

Ward 50.3.

Moseley 49.0

Witherspoon 40.1

Thomas rushed the passer 29 times and could only muster a quarterback hit. He shouldn’t be playing 40 snaps in a game, but San Francisco doesn’t have much of a choice. Thomas didn’t record a single tackle, either.

If you didn’t watch the game and you see 3/5 of the secondary listed in this part, it’s safe to assume San Francisco lost. Ward had the back-breaking penalty that gifted the Falcons the ball on the one-yard line. He also allowed a 25-yard catch. I do think Jimmie showed great awareness on the final play of the game to peel off from who he was guarding to contest the throw to Jones at the goal line.

This was hands down the toughest draw of the season for both cornerbacks. Playing vanilla zones or press-man coverage against Julio Jones with no help. Good luck. The two cornerbacks allowed 14 receptions on 17 targets for 121 yards and a touchdown. Not ideal. It wasn’t as if the two were getting beaten badly in coverage; Jones just made a play. Neither Moseley or Witherspoon broke up a pass, which is tough to do on that many targets. Both have been lights out all season, so I’m going to give them a pass for one bad game against one of the toughest receivers to match up against in the NFL.