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Golden Nuggets: Projecting how many sacks the 49ers’ defense will have in 2020

The Niners’ success last season had a lot do with getting to the opposing quarterback.

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Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Most successful defenses in the NFL have the ability to get to the quarterback.

The San Francisco 49ers improvement in 2019 was largely a result of how dominant their defense was. In head coach Kyle Shanahan’s first season, the Niners finished 26th in total sacks. The team followed that up by getting 37 sacks in 2018, a mark the defense easily eclipsed last season when the unit produced 48 sacks.

Fanided’s Peter Panacy gave his predictions on how the 49ers’ defense will do in 2020, and he says the unit will be in the top-three in sacks next season.

“Let’s assume things come together for San Francisco entirely in 2020. Armstead maintains his prowess as a pass-rusher, while Bosa improves on his already exemplary rookie season. A hopeful caveat would be Ford staying healthy and not missing five regular-season games, which would allow him to massively improve on his 6.5 sack campaign from a year ago.”

Nick Bosa changed everything. The fact that San Francisco was able to get him with the second pick in the 2019 NFL Draft is seen as a blessing. General manager John Lynch was afforded the luxury of trading All-Pro defensive lineman DeForest Buckner because of the abundance of riches the squad has on the line.

The 49ers were able to morph into a contender last year because of how dominant the defense performed. If Dee Ford is healthy, the defense should be able to sustain its level of excellence next season. San Francisco ranked fifth in total sacks in 2019, a mark they could beat next year,

With Arik Armstead growing into a dominant pass rusher, and Bosa going into his second season, San Francisco should be a top-notch defense again in 2020. Rookie Javon Kinlaw is expected to have an immediate impact, so the loss of Buckner shouldn’t be as big of a loss as most people think.

If we set the over/under at 48.5 sacks, would you bet that the Niners’ defense will have more or less in 2020?

On to some links:

Even though the NFL is carrying on as if the 2020 season will start on time, some players are questioning how things will turn out. NBC Bay Area’s Dalton Johnson examined 49ers’ tight end George Kittle’s questioning of how the league plans to proceed without social distancing.

The Niners’ secondary had a pleasant surprise last season. Cornerback K’Waun Williams balled out in 2019, but he shouldn’t be under radar going into 2020. (Niners Wire)

Jamal Adams would be a great get for San Francisco. 49ers Web Zone’s Levin Black says it is entirely possible for the Niners to acquire the safety without having to worry about the salary cap implications.

San Francisco’s worst trade was moving defensive lineman Charles Haley to Dallas. The Athletic’s Steve Berman looked back at the 20 worst trades involving Bay Area sports teams.

The Raheem Mostert drama may not come to and anytime soon. Fansided’s Panacy looks at three burning questions facing the 49ers’ running back corps going into the 2020 season.

Real football might be delayed due to the pandemic, but Madden 21 is almost here. NBC Bay Area’s Alex Didion looks at Niners’ rookie Brandon Aiyuk’s rating in the game compared to his counterparts.