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PFF grades and snap counts from the 49ers blowout win over the Vikings

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Good news: The Niners will be fresh on defense come Sunday

Divisional Round - Minnesota Vikings v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

That was a good old fashioned butt whipping by the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday. A 27-10 blowout victory after Kyle Shanahan put together a masterful opening game script and finished the game with body blow after body blow to the Vikings, and they had no answer for 49ers run game. Defensively, good luck finding a more dominant performance from a defensive line. With the big win and great execution, San Francisco wasn’t forced to play their defense a ton, which is nice heading into the NFC Championship. Here are the snap counts and PFF grades from Saturday’s game.

Offensive snaps- 68 possible

The offensive line should get a ton of credit for paving the way for Tevin Coleman and company. Coleman looked rejuvenated and fresh, so there was no reason to take him out once he got rolling. It is noteworthy to mention Kyle Shanahan said Raheem Mostert was cramping up a bit, and that’s why he didn’t rotate in. As for Matt Breida, we have seen the last of him after a late-game fumble. Levine Toilolo playing 19 snaps, tells you how well the Niners ran the ball.

Top-five PFF grades

Bourne 84.2

Garland 82.8

Kittle 78.5

McGlinchey 78.1

Coleman 75.6

Person 75.6

Coleman is frustrating for me because of what we saw Saturday. When he puts his foot in the ground and goes, he’s excellent. Too many instances where you see him in the backfield tap dancing or missing a hole and leaving yards on the field. There was one run specifically where that happened in the second quarter. Then after that, Coleman ran as hard as I’ve ever seen him. He was great. Kudos to Coleman for being impactful even when Minnesota knew he was getting the ball.

You don’t run for over 180 yards without your offensive line getting movement upfront. When the 49ers ran it eight times in a row for a touchdown, watch Garland and watch the Vikings three-technique. Garland and the guards are moving Minnesota’s defensive tackle several yards each play. It’s tough to remember seeing anything like that.

McGlinchey was beaten for an early sack against Danielle Hunter, and that made everyone a bit nervous. Hunter is really that good, where he can ruin your game plan. McGlinchey stepped up after that and didn’t allow another hit on Jimmy Garoppolo for the rest of the game. I was McGlinhcey’s dominance on the ground that was impressive.

Bourne had a drop, but he also had a touchdown and two other critical receptions. Even with the drop, it’s evident that Bourne has strong hands and understands how important it is to fight for the ball. His other two receptions went for first downs, and Bourne did a fantastic job of either fighting through contact or selling out and diving for a catch. It’s easy to appreciate Bourne, and I get why he’s the team’s third receiver. He’s perfect for what Shanahan wants in this offense.

Bottom-five grades

Sanders 65.7

Garoppolo 65.5

Juszczyk 62.7

Mostert 61.2

Breida 29.1

A “70” is considered average. Breida carried the ball eight times for 17 yards. He didn’t have a first down, only forced one missed tackle, and had the fumble. Breida did have 11 yards after contact. It’s tough to imagine Shanahan rolling with Breida moving forward.

Mostert had a few nice runs. He ended up running for three first downs on 12 carries. Mostert averaged 4.8 yards per carry, which was the same as Coleman. Mostert forced three missed tackles as well. I don’t think he played poorly, Coleman was just better.

I don’t remember or recall what Sanders and Juice did poorly. The same cannot be said for Jimmy G. He was charged with one sack, but it was Garoppolo’s accuracy that costed the 49ers. Jimmy was late and missing behind his receivers over the middle of the field, which is a no-no. He finished 2-6 with an interception over the intermediate part of the field, which is the sweet spot for Shanahan’s play-action offense. The interception was more of the same that we’ve seen this season, where Garoppolo doesn’t account for the underneath defender. It was a bad game; there’s no way to sugarcoat it. What’s encouraging is that Jimmy keaeps coming after you, no matter what. Also, if he was going to get his bad game out of the way, this was the time to do it.

Defense- 46 snaps

I know I wasn’t the only one wondering why in the site decorum Alexander was on the field on the final Vikings drive. Speaking of scares, can we talk about this for a second?

This team is full of characters, and Bosa fits right in. Dee Ford’s presence alone bade a difference. Ford winning a few times, helped. Playing 48% of the snaps is great for a first game back. Hopefully, he gets to rest and is feeling great for the next game. Speaking of rest, Fred Warner said, “I was joking on the sideline that, man, it doesn’t even feel like we’ve been out there.”

Bosa, Armstead, and Buckner still played around 75-76% of the snaps, but it’s the playoffs. It’s easier to swallow when they’re playing 35 snaps and not 60 snaps.

Top five PFF grades

Bosa 91.6

Greenlaw 91.2

Buckner 88.8

Warner 79.5

Williams 79.3

Nine players had a grade over 70, which hasn’t happened all season defensively. The guy I was sitting next to at the game and I were discussing Greenlaw and how he was all over the field without filling up the stat sheet. Greenlaw forced a fumble, had a nice stop against the run, but his coverage was excellent. Greenlaw was targeted six times, he gave up five catches but only for 26 yards. Fifteen of that was on one play. He was flying all over the field, as was everyone else wearing red on Saturday. Greenlaw is no longer playing like a rookie.

So, about the defensive line. In December, the 49ers did a good job of getting pressure, but they weren’t getting sacks. Here is why I still am a firm believer that sacks are king. When you sack the quarterback, that’s when he starts to get affected by the pressure. He starts to flinch and drop his eyes once he sees the rush. Six sacks made the difference for the 49ers. They were winning left and right, but the front four finally finished plays. Bosa had seven total pressures, Buckner finished with five, and Arik Armstead four. Each member of the big four had a sack, and Solomon Thomas did as well. Even on the final possession, the Niners were still getting after Kirk Cousins.

Bottom five PFF grades

Thomas 62.2

Mitchell 61.8

Ford 60.9

Alexander 58.1

Witherspoon 25.8

Going off memory, I don’t remember what Ford or Alexander did wrong. I thought they both made an impact on the game. To a lesser extent than the guys next to them, but they didn’t play poorly by any stretch.

As for Witherspoon, I don’t know what the coaching staff expected to be different. He has been the victim of the past five touchdowns San Francisco has given up. Shanahan said that he spoke to both Spoon and Emmanuel Moseley before the game that if there were any struggles, there would be a quick hook. I was watching Witherspoon in pre-game. You could tell he was in his own head. He was one of the first ones out there, and he stayed warming up, doing drills by himself, almost over-thinking it seemed like. In a couple of drives, Witherspoon gave up a long 41-yard touchdown, committed a penalty, and gave up two other catches for 29 yards. He lost his confidence, and when that happens, it’s tough to recover.