49ers review: Defensive player-by-player

November 1, 2011, 7:19 pm
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Here's a player-by-player look at the 49ers' defensive performances from their 20-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday:Defensive linemen
90-Isaac Sopoaga: Started at nose tackle and, of course, played both ways. See offensive review for his recap on offense. He recorded one tackle for a loss in the game, while playing most of the downs as part of the 49ers' base defense. . . . Dropped into coverage on the second play of the game and alertly recovered fumble on Ahmad Brooks' sack of Browns quarterback Colt McCoy.
91-Ray McDonald: Started at left defensive end and played 2 12 quarters before leaving with a left hamstring strain. . . . Injured his hamstring as he was pressuring McCoy for an incomplete pass in the second quarter.
93-Ian Williams: Inactive. (Follow on Twitter @IWilliams95)
94-Justin Smith: Started at right defensive end and played all but two snaps on defense. . . He was credited with four tackles and one quarterback hurry. . . . Held up left guard Jason Pinkston to stuff the middle on running back Chris Ogbonnaya's 2-yard gain in first quarter. . . . He played every snap through the middle of the fourth quarter. On the second play on which he was not on the field, the Browns hit a 45-yard touchdown pass. . . . Called for roughing the passer late in fourth quarter.
95-Ricky Jean Francois: Entered the game at nose tackle at the beginning of the second quarter to give a rest to Sopoaga, who had been playing a lot of offense. . . . Jean Francois played a lot of left defensive end in place of McDonald for the final 2 12 quarters. . . As part of the nickel package, he got pressure on McCoy, forcing him to throw in complete pass late in second quarter. . . . Immediately recognized screen pass and was right there to along with Patrick Willis to throw receiver Greg Little for an 8-yard loss. (Follow on Twitter @Freakyjean95)
96-Demarcus Dobbs: Played seven snaps of defense in the second half after McDonald's injury. . . He was not credited with any tackles. . . Entered in the fourth quarter on a nickel down and stood over the center and clogged up middle to allow Aldon Smith to loop around him on a stunt to pick up a sack.Linebackers
51-Blake Costanzo: Played solely on special teams, where he recorded a tackle. (Follow on Twitter @BlakeCostanzo51)
52-Patrick Willis: Started at middle linebacker and was credited with seven tackles, a sack and two tackles for loss while playing every defensive snap in the game. . . . Read a wide receiver screen and threw Little for an 8-yard loss early in the third quarter. . . . Timed blitz perfectly and made McCoy escape pocket and throw on the move on a pass Dashon Goldson intercepted in the end zone. . . . Beat block attempt of Ogbannaya to sack McCoy for 3-yard loss late in game. (Follow on Twitter @PatrickWillis52)
53-NaVorro Bowman: Started at inside linebacker, played every snap and was credited with a game-high 11 tackles . . . Came up rapidly to drop Ogbonnaya for 4-yard gain on completion over the middle in first quarter. . . . Surrendered 29-yard pass to tight end Ben Watson in third quarter. . . . Wrapped up Ogbonnaya for 2-yard loss in fourth quarter on short pass. . . . He also added a tackle on special teams. (Follow on Twitter @NBowman53)
54-Larry Grant: Played on special teams but was not credited with any tackles. (Follow on Twitter @LarryGrant54)
55-Ahmad Brooks: Started at left outside linebacker and played most of the game. He recorded three tackles and two sacks, along with a forced fumble. . . . Ducked inside of right tackle Tony Pashos, who knocked his helmet off, and sacked McCoy to force a fumble on the second play of the game. . . . Powered through blitz-pickup attempt of Ogbonnaya to drop McCoy for a 6-yard sack in third quarter.
56-Tavares Gooden: Had a good game on special teams with two tackles.
98-Parys Haralson: Started at right outside linebacker and played all 25 of the team's base downs. . . He was credited with three tackles. . . Avoided block of tight end Alex Smith to stop Ogbonnaya for 1-yard gain in second quarter. . . . Shoved to the ground by Pashos, he reached up and stripped McCoy of the football on next-to-last play of the game. McCoy picked it up and threw a short completition.
99-Aldon Smith: Played 26 snaps in the game as a defensive end in nickel situations and registered two tackles and a sack in the fourth consecutive game. . . . Shed the block to stop Ogbannaya for a 3-yard gain in first quarter. . . . Got his fingertips on a McCoy pass to force incompletion on a third-and-7 pass in first quarter. . . . Looped around on a stunt to throw McCoy for a 7-yard loss on a fourth-quarter sack. (Follow on Twitter @AldonSmithJETS)Defensive backs
20-Madieu Williams: Played solely on special teams, registering one tackle. (Follow on Twitter @MadieuWilliams)
22-Carlos Rogers: Started at left cornerback and played every snap. He had three tackles and broke up one pass. . . . Went low on attempted tackle of tight end Smith, who avoided tackle and ended up gaining 20 yards for a first down on a third-and-10 play in the third quarter. . . . Closed quickly on Little to stop him for 3-yard gain in third quarter. . . . Failed to wrap up and stop McCoy from gaining first down on a third-quarter scramble. . . Upended Ogbonnaya to break up pass on third-and-2 situation late in third quarter.
25-Tarell Brown: Started at right cornerback and played every snap. He recorded three tackles and broke up one pass. . . . Had good coverage in end zone on Little on play in which Dashon Goldson intercepted McCoy's pass. . . Playing cover-2, Brown tried unsuccessfully to get a hand on the pass to Cribbs for a 45-yard touchdown.
26-Tramaine Brock: Inactive (hand). (Follow on Twitter @T26Brock)
27-C.J. Spillman: Played on special teams and was credited with one tackle. (Follow on Twitter @CJSPILLMAN27)
29-Chris Culliver: Entered game as 49ers' third cornerback and played 35 snaps. He had another good showing in coverage and he broke up one pass and recorded five tackles. . . . Had good coverage on pass intended for Little on third down down in first quarter. (Follow on Twitter @Cullyinthehouse)
30-Reggie Smith: Played nine snaps on defense when the 49ers went with six defensive backs at the end of each half. (Follow on Twitter @superreg30)
31-Donte Whitner: Started at strong safety and played every snap in the game. He was credited with three tackles and a quarterback hurry. . . He and Goldson hit Ogbonnaya simultaneously to force fumble that jarred ball back 7 yards for a net 1-yard gain. . . . Came on blitz in third quarter that pressured McCoy into incomplete pass. (Follow on Twitter @DonteWhitner)
36-Shawntae Spencer: Did not play.
38-Dashon Goldson: Started at free safety. He and Whitner hit Ogonnaya at same time to force fumble in second quarter. . . . Penalized 15 yards for a blow to the head that helped the Browns get into position for field goal at end of the first half. . . . Had perfect deep coverage of Little in the end zone and intercepted McCoy's third-quarter pass. . . . While in Cover-2 defense, he took a poor angle toward sideline and was not there to prevent Cribbs' 45-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. (Follow on Twitter @thehawk38)
43-Colin Jones: Played exclusively on special teams.Specialists
2-David Akers: The Browns' average starting point on their five kickoffs was the 23-yard line. Akers had one touchback. He also made both of his field-goal attempts, connecting from 29 and 26 yards out. (Follow on Twitter @DavidAkers2)
4-Andy Lee: He had another outstanding game after not attempting a punt in the first half. Lee averaged 53.6 yards (42.8 net) on five punts, including two he landed inside the 20-yard line.
86-Brian Jennings: Handled the long-snapping duties with no problems. (Follow on Twitter @Jennings141)