The San Francisco 49ers defense continued its upward trajectory in Week 12, recording another five sacks, generating two turnovers and keeping the Seattle Seahawks offense out of the end zone. Their lockdown efforts helped secure the 49ers 31-13 win over their longtime NFC West rivals and extend their lead in the division race. By limiting Seattle to just 13 points on Thanksgiving night, San Francisco's defensive unit is now the league's top scoring defense, averaging just 15.5 points allowed per game and a total of 170 points on the year.
Cornerback Charvarius Ward has played a huge hand in the success of San Francisco's defense, drawing the CB1 responsibility of keeping opposing offense's top targets from making game-changing catches and serving as one of the veteran mainstays in the 49ers defensive backs room. Over the course of the year, Ward has racked up 51 total tackles, a forced fumble, two interceptions and 15 pass breakups. His 15 passes defended are tied for second most in the NFL.
Week 12 was one of the sixth-year pros toughest assignments and best performances of the year. Ward was assigned to cover Seattle's star wideout, D.K. Metcalf, and kept him to just three catches for 32 yards on the night.
"From what I saw, he was unbelievable," head coach Kyle Shanahan said immediately following the Seahawks game. "I don't get to see all of it, so I'm excited to watch it on the plane. He's been pretty consistent coming here (to Seattle). I thought he had an unbelievable game last year on Thursday night up here, and it seemed very similar today."
In Week 15 of the 2022 season, Ward also flashed, recording six tackles, a fumble recovery and two passes defended.
"It was just play after play after play," NFL Network personality Jason McCourty said on Good Morning Football. "When he was asked about it after the game, he was like, 'No big deal, this is what CB1s do.' You go out there, and you just shut guys down."
The full list of defensive backs that made McCourty's "The Belt" list include:
- No. 1 Dallas Cowboys CB Daron Bland
- No. 2 San Francisco 49ers CB Charvarius Ward
- No. 3 Philadelphia Eagles CB James Bradberry
- No. 4 Atlanta Falcons S Jessie Bates III
- No. 5 Miami Dolphins S Jevon Holland