Bucs offense has a tall order getting through 49ers top-rated defense
As it turns out, San Fransisco's defense has been just as good, if not better than their offense this season. Per Pro Football Reference, the 49ers are allowing just 15.9 PPG (3rd in NFL), 304.6 YPG (5th in NFL), 83.1 RYPG (3rd in NFL), and 221.4 PYPG (15th in NFL). With playmakers at all three levels of the field on defense, the 49ers defense will be a major test for Baker Mayfield and the Buccaneers' offense.
Although San Fransisco has posted a modest total of 23 sacks (20th in NFL) so far, the 49ers' defensive line is loaded with talented pass rushers and run stoppers. Of all the players, the duo of superstar DE Nick Bosa (4.5 SCKs, 7 TFLs) and DT Javon Hargrave (4.5 SCKs, 6 TFLs) has been excellent, as the two have combined for 9.0 sacks and 13 tackles for loss.
Outside of Bosa and Hargrave, veteran DE Arik Armstead and 2022 second-round pick DE Drake Jackson has each recorded three sacks. Offseason additions DE Clelin Ferell and DE Randy Gregory have notched 1.5 sacks and 1 sack, respectively.
To top it all off, San Fransisco managed to trade for Chase Young which is a move that has already started to pay off. In his debut against Jacksonville, Young combined with Bosa to sack Trevor Lawrence and blew up multiple running plays throughout the game.
Similar to Bosa and Hargrave on the defensive line, San Fransisco appears to also have one of the best linebacker duos with Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw. Warner has recorded 78 total tackles, two sacks, five TFLs, six passes defended, three interceptions, and two forced fumbles; Greenlaw has notched 63 total tackles, one sack, five TFLs, and two passes defended.
Alongside Warner and Greenlaw in coverage, five cornerbacks and safeties have 2+ passes defended, led by cornerback Charvarius Ward's team-high ten. So far, safety Talanoa Hufanga has three interceptions, while Ward and Deommodore Lenoir each have two picks this season.