San Francisco 49ers

49ers snap counts: Pass rushers fail to put pressure on Cam Newton

Carolina Panther quarterback Cam Newton spins away from pressure from 49ers defensive end Elvis Dumervil in the first quarter of the NFL game between the San Francisco 49ers and Carolina Panthers.
Carolina Panther quarterback Cam Newton spins away from pressure from 49ers defensive end Elvis Dumervil in the first quarter of the NFL game between the San Francisco 49ers and Carolina Panthers. The Bee

Solomon Thomas didn't start Sunday's game against the Panthers, but he ended up playing more snaps on defense -- 43 to 31 -- than starter Tank Carradine. Whereas the bulk of Carradine's snaps came on base downs at defensive end, Thomas, the No. 3 overall pick in the draft, played both defensive end and defensive tackle at various point.

Thomas finished with two tackles -- one of them behind the line of scrimmage -- but like his teammate failed to generate mush pressure on Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, who wasn't sacked. The only 49ers to record quarterback hits were DeForest Buckner (53 snaps) and Elvis Dumervil (16). San Francisco and Houston, which lost 29-7 at home to the Jaguars, were the only defenses so far that didn't record a sack in Week 1.

Buckner played more defensive snaps last year, 1005, than any other interior defensive lineman, and his 2016 workload has been criticized by the 49ers new defensive coaches. On Sunday his 53 snaps (79 percent of the total) were the most of any 49ers defensive linemen. Still, it was the fewest number of snaps for him since he had 51 in Week 1 last year. There were six games in 2016 in which he had 70 or more defensive snaps. His workload Sunday may be related to the fact that his top backup, Xavier Cooper, still is learning the system after being picked up earlier this month. Cooper played 14 snaps.

* At safety, Jaquiski Tartt and Eric Reid played all 67 defensive snaps. Lorenzo Jerome played 12 snaps in the team's "dime" package. In those instances, he was the single-high free safety while Tartt and Reid played close to the line of scrimmage. Early in the game, NaVorro Bowman (66 snaps) came off the field in that alignment while Reuben Foster (11) remained in the game. After Foster got hurt, his replacement, Ray-Ray Armstrong (45), went to the sideline in dime situations.

* Fullback Kyle Juszczyk played 19 of the team's 57 offensive snaps. He had an up-and-down game, allowing a sack, catching two of the four passes that went his way (for 17 yards) and briefly leaving the game after taking a big hit to his lower back. Juszczyk (back) and Eli Harold (unknown) both returned after suffering injuries. Among tight ends, George Kittle saw the most action (54 snaps) despite dealing with a hamstring injury during the week. Garrett Celek played 14 snaps, Logan Paulsen 3.

* At running back, Carlos Hyde got the lion's share of the playing time (45 snaps), though only two of his nine carries came after halftime after the 49ers fell behind on the scoreboard. Rookie Matt Breida (12) was next, followed by Raheem Mostert (1), who was the first running back in the game after Hyde in the opening quarter but who didn't have any other offensive snaps.

* At receiver, Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin each played 50 snaps. Kendrick Bourne (3) usually substituted for Garcon while Aldrick Robinson (19) usually came in for Goodwin. Rookie Trent Taylor played 24 snaps at slot receiver but only was targeted once.

* The 49ers were in nickel coverage 43 percent of the time. Nickel cornerback K'Waun Williams played 29 snaps. Starting cornerbacks Rashard Robinson and Dontae Johnson played all 67 snaps.

Matt Barrows: @mattbarrows, read more about the team at sacbee.com/sf49ers.

  Comments