Eagles vs 49ers: Grading San Francisco’s position groups before title game

Brock Purdy #13, San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Brock Purdy #13, San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Philadelphia Eagles
DeMeco Ryans, San Francisco 49ers (Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports) /

Defense. . player. 42. . .

Former Eagles linebacker DeMeco Ryans has elevated the 49ers’ defense.

49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans spent four seasons in an Eagles jersey (2012-2015). He racked up 334 tackles, five sacks, a forced fumble, 20 pass breakups, and five interceptions during his time here. The next chapter of his NFL life has been rather fruitful as well.

His unit plays like he used to. They pressure the quarterback. They attack the football. They force turnovers, and they’re mean and nasty. One thing his guys do better than Philly is stop the run. No NFL team has given up fewer yards.

Defensive line: A+

Just look at these names: Samson Ebukam, Javon Kinlaw, Arik Armstead, and Nick Bosa. Sheesh!

While we would love to see Haason Reddick win NFL Defensive Player of the Year, that honor will probably go to Bosa. San Francisco sits just outside of the top ten in terms of number of sacks, but make no mistake about it. The Eagles O-line has its hands full.

Linebackers: A

Dre Greenlaw would probably be the best linebacker on most of the other NFL rosters, but the 49ers have this guy named Fred Warner. He’s pretty good. Frankly, he might be the best linebacker the game has seen in a while. Azeez Al-Shaair is also talented. This trio can be a handful when they get on a roll.

Secondary: C

If we’re not mistaken, we selected Talanoa Hufanga in a couple of our mock drafts here at Inside The Iggles during the 2021 offseason. Fast forward, and he has already earned a First-Team All-Pro and Pro Bowl honor, but he also has a tendency to miss tackles.

He, Charvarius Ward, Tashaun Gipson Sr, and Deommodore Lenoir form quite the quartet, but as is the case here in Philly, their hometown fans have a tendency to complain about soft coverage and big plays.