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At one point or another, it took all three phases of San Francisco’s game to earn the road victory against the Cincinnati Bengals. The crucial win improved the 49ers record to 7-6 on the season while positioning San Francisco as the sixth seed in the NFC playoff race.
Jeff Deeney of Pro Football Focus highlighted several members of the 49ers who earned top grades in the overtime thriller. Here’s who stood out:
George Kittle – 91.1 Overall Grade
Kittle is coming off of back-to-back weeks of noteworthy and clutch performances. A week removed from his 181-yard outing against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 13, Kittle followed up catching 13 of his 15 targets for 151 yards and a touchdown. The tight end has caught a touchdown in each of his last six games. Four of his receptions went for over 15 yards on Sunday. Kittle’s 91.7 overall grade on the year is the highest in the NFL among all tight ends. He is averaging 2.68 receiving yards per pass route run, over a half yard higher than the next qualifying tight end (Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rob Gronkowski – 2.14). Kittle’s outing earned him a spot on PFF’s “Team of the Week” for the second-straight week.
Nick Bosa – 91.0 Overall Grade
The former first-round pick is coming off of one of his most efficient pass-rushing performances of the season. Bosa earned the second highest grade among all NFL edge defenders in Week 14, only behind his brother, Joey (92.9). San Francisco’s pass rusher notched nine quarterback pressures (two sacks, nine hurries), the most of any edge defender so far in Week 14. Bosa’s outing landed him on PFF’s “Team of the Week.”
Trent Williams – 90.0 Overall Grade
Williams allowed just one quarterback hurry in 46 pass blocking snaps. He now has a grade of 99.0 on the season, the highest of any player in the NFL and is on pace to have the highest overall grade of any player in a season since PFF’s grading began in 2006. Williams is the third member of the 49ers to earn a spot on PFF’s “Team of the Week.”
Charles Omenihu – 83.8 Overall Grade
Omenihu topped San Francisco’s grades in his 14 snaps against the Bengals on Sunday. In eight pass rushes, he notched two quarterback pressures (hurries) and also recorded a batted pass in the first half.
Samson Ebukam – 82.4 Overall Grade
Ebukam earned his highest grade of the season in Week 14. San Francisco’s pass rusher recorded four quarterback pressures (0.5 sack, one hit and two hurries) and also forced a fumble. It’s worth noting, the 49ers had Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow under pressure on 19 of his 40 dropbacks (47.5 percent).
Jimmie Ward – 77.5 Overall Grade
Ward did not allow a single catch on his two targets on the day, while also notching a pass breakup. PFF also credited San Francisco’s safety with six-total tackles.
Compton was key in San Francisco’s ground game, earning an 87.0 run blocking grade on the day. Over the last three weeks, Compton has notched a 94.3 run blocking grade, the second highest among all NFL tackles behind Detroit Lions right tackle Penei Sewell (95.3).
San Francisco’s starting quarterback had a higher passer rating when under pressure than when he was kept clean against the Bengals defense. Garoppolo was 8-of-12 passing for 86 yards and one touchdown for an 115.3 quarterback rating when under pressure, compared to 19-of-29 completions for 210 yards, one touchdown and 98.3 passer rating in a clean pocket. Per PFF, in the fourth quarter and overtime, Garoppolo threw for 159 yards and a touchdown while also making three big-time throws. During the same period, his average depth of target was over 8.0 yards downfield while also completing five of his seven attempts beyond 10 yards.