The 49ers have to be thrilled with the play from safety Talanoa Hufanga to start the season. Through two games, Hufanga leads all safeties in run stops, has allowed a 33% completion percentage, and has two pass breakups and an incompletion.
Whether PFF grades or Sports Info Solutions, Hufanga is near the top of every category. Hufanga’s three tackles for loss and 2.7 average depth of tackle might be his most impressive stat. One thing the second-year safety out of USC must clean up is his missed tackles. He missed one in the backfield this past Sunday, bringing his total to three on the season.
The best defenses in the NFL have an excellent safety duo. The 49ers were at their best during the past couple of seasons when Jaquiski Tartt and Jimmie Ward were on the field and limiting the big play. There have been a couple of coverage busts in two games from the secondary, so that’s something to keep an eye on. Still, it’s difficult to place the blame on Hufanga.
During today’s episode, we spoke about one thing we like and disliked on both sides of the ball. Hufanga was an easy choice defensively. Of offense, the idea to kick a field goal from the two-yard line after dominating defensively all game was disappointing.
Perhaps, Kyle Shanahan was caught up in the moment and made an emotional decision to kick after Jake Brendel’s butt fumble on third down. Watch the play below. It’s an easy touchdown if Brendel gets the ball to Jimmy Garoppolo (11:59):
Instead, a field goal. Going for it on 4th & 2 when you have the 49ers defensive line, skill positions, and an offensive line that impressed shouldn’t be cromulent. That aggressive mentality is often rewarded by the football gods.
You can listen to the episode in its entirety below:
Other topics include:
Why there was zero empathy for Trey Lance after he got hurt (:37)
The defense has been overshadowed by all of the QB talk (7:42)
Akash says the 49ers will still win the division (9:12)
Why this is a perfect time to play the Broncos (24:19)