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PFF grades and snap counts from the 49ers big win over the Packers

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You’ll never guess the highest graded player

NFC Championship - Green Bay Packers v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Two weeks in a row now, the San Francisco 49ers have given us a break from what was a heart-racing, pressure-filled December. We’ve gone over the winners and losers as well as the takeaways from the game. Now it’s time to see the snap counts and grades from PFF.

Offensive snaps- 54 possible

Gone are the days of 20+ players getting on the field. Kyle Shanahan isn’t risking anything. It felt like Tevin Coleman played more than eight snaps. It didn’t feel like Levine Toilolo was on the field for 15 snaps. The roles for the Super Bowl will be interesting at running back. Coleman will be coming off a dislocated shoulder injury, but the guy just ran for 100 yards in the divisional round. That said, how do you not give the ball to Raheem Mostert every time?

Top 5 grades

Mostert 90.7

Samuel 89.5

Tomlinson 87.4

Staley 86.3

I’m not sure what’s gotten into Staley as of late, but he’s been dominant the last month. Packer fans were convinced that Za’Darius Smith was the best pass rusher in the stadium because of an ESPN stat. Shockingly, he wasn’t. Smith didn’t record a single pressure. In the biggest game of the season, Staley threw a perfect game against one of the best edge rushers he’s faced all season. It wasn’t just on the 12 dropbacks, either. Staley was pushing whoever it was around. Most impressively, he and Laken Tomlinson both were able to get the Green Bay’s second level and seal running lanes for Mostert.

Mostert is a joy to watch. It’s not aesthetically pleasing. It looks a bit awkward with the way Mostert runs straight up, but my goodness is he a blur. Of his 220 yards, 158 came after contact. Mostert had seven runs of ten or more yards and broke eight tackles. Seeing Mostert outrun defenders angles will never get old. This doesn’t feel like a flash in the pan.

What would Deebo Samuel look like as a running back? He had two carries that both went for ten or more yards. On both carries, you see him running at top speed while avoiding tackles. On the long reception where Samuel was this close to scoring, that would have been the play of the season for me, which is probably being a prisoner of the moment. Shanahan insists on getting Samuel involved, and when that happens, San Francisco can’t be stopped.

Bottom five grades

Jimmy Garoppolo 61.7

Kyle Juszczyk 61.7

Kendrick Bourne 57.3

Emmanuel Sanders 55.6

Tevin Coleman 50.5

I haven’t rewatched the game, but I’m now going to keep an eye out to see if Juice was blowing blocks left and right. I’m going to give the pass catchers and Jimmy a pass as there only nine dropbacks. Jimmy has to throw that ball away and can’t take that sack. On the incompletion before, the receiver had a step and a half, but Garoppolo was late, and the defender was able to get his hands on the ball. Those two plays hurt, but I didn’t think he played poorly. I thought last week was quite a bit worse in terms of putting the ball in harm’s way, but PFF graded Garoppolo better against Minnesota.

Defensive snaps- 61 snaps

When you get a big lead that opens the door for the defense to lose their edge, that’s what we saw during the second half at times for this 49ers defense. Kwon Alexander only playing 20 snaps is a bit surprising, but that tells you what Robert Saleh thinks of Dre Greenlaw. In a blowout, it may feel like too many snaps for Bosa, Buckner, and Armstead, but there’s no game next week. Ford playing 33 snaps is a good sign.

Top-five defensive grades

Armstead 78.6

Williams 78.6

Sherman 73.5

Day 68.0

Buckner 67.8

Williams allowed eight receptions on eight targets, but for only 45 yards. Keeping everything in front of you and limiting yards after the catch is the name of the game in the slot. I’m a firm believer in “your defense is ass good as your Nickel cornerback,” and with the way Williams has played this season, it’s no surprise the 49ers defense has been the best when healthy. He beat right guard Billy turner like a drum for a strip-sack. Williams finished the game with three stops, and if not for a missed tackle, he’d have been the highest-graded defender.

I have so many questions about these coverage grades. Sherman had an interception but gave up that long 65-yard bomb. It was no harm, no foul at that point in the game, but Tarvarius Moore was targeted once and gave up a six-yard completion. That was his only snap of the games, and his grade was a 27.0. Excuse me? I, like Sherman, probably would blame Darrelle Revis. It’s a silly argument considering both played well, but I thought Emmanuel Moseley had more of an impact on the game.

Day was credited with one hurry, but that’s all in the stat sheet. Buckner had three stops and was a force inside against the run. Armstead forced a fumble, had two stops and a sack. So, it was another day at the office for him.

Bottom-five defensive grades

Thomas 57.5

Alexander 55.9

Warner 45.7

Tartt 44.0

Ford 43.4

They hate Warner. Warner gave up four of five targets for 52 yards and didn’t finish the game with a stop for only the second time this season. Tartt gave up 63 yards in coverage and 42 yards after the catch as well as missing two tackles. I think the SAM position just isn’t going to grade well in PFF’s system with what their responsibilities are. Alexander was targeted four times and allowed four catches for a total of ten yards. His coverage grade was 54.7. Okay then. Anytime Thomas flashes, that’s a good thing for the defense. He did twice on 22 snaps Sunday.