They don't call it the "Wild" Card for no reason as the San Francisco 49ers came out on top of the wild matchup against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. The 49ers led from wire-to-wire against the 12-win Cowboys before a near-comeback dropped their chances of trumping San Francisco in the final seconds of the game.
A number of playmakers aided in San Francisco's route to their second Divisional matchup in the last three seasons. Jeff Deeney of Pro Football Focus highlighted seven playmakers who stood out:
Brandon Aiyuk - 83.7 Overall Grade
Aiyuk earned San Francisco's top grade on offense. The second-year wideout caught five of six targets for 66 yards. His only incomplete catch came on an overthrown pass where the receiver was wide open for a large gain. Over the last four games, 49ers quarterbacks have had a passer rating of 132.1 when targeting Aiyuk. According to PFF, Aiyuk is the highest-graded wide receiver so far in the Wild Card Round.
Trent Williams - 80.3 Overall Grade
Williams aided in San Francisco's 169 rushing yard performance, earning an 86.1 run blocking grade. The left tackle also allowed just one quarterback pressure on the day (hurry) in 26 pass blocking snaps.
Jauan Jennings - 78.4 Overall Grade
Jennings continues to make strides in his first full season in San Francisco. The seventh-round receiver caught three passes for 29 yards, with each reception coming on third down and resulting in a first down. Including the postseason, Jennings has caught 13-of-14 targets on third down, with 12 of them resulting in either a first down or touchdown.
Deebo Samuel - 77.0 Overall Grade
Samuel was a star yet again as a receiver and rusher. The self-proclaimed "wide back" totaled 10 carries for 72 yards and a touchdown while forcing three missed tackles rushing. His 72 yards on the ground were the most by a wide receiver in a playoff game since the Super Bowl era began in 1966. He also caught all three of his targets for 38 yards with two of them going for first downs.
Kevin Givens - 76.8 Overall Grade
In 23 snaps, Givens recorded two quarterback pressures, including a half sack, as well as two run stops.
Nick Bosa - 76.4 Overall Grade
The third-year pass rusher notched two quarterback pressures (including a half sack) in 14 pass rushes before leaving with a concussion. The 49ers pass rush had Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott under pressure on 25-of-52 dropbacks (48.1 percent) despite losing Bosa in the first half. When under duress, Prescott was 6-of-17 for 71 yards and one interception for a 24.4 passer rating.
Ambry Thomas - 73.4 Overall Grade
The rookie cornerback allowed just two catches on four targets for 24 yards and also notched a pass breakup against the Cowboys high-scoring offense. The 49ers have seen Thomas continuously improve over his last six games. The rookie allowed 7-of-10 targets for 176 yards, two touchdowns and a 152.1 passer rating allowed (36.4 PFF coverage grade) over his first two starts. Since, Thomas has given up 8-of-16 targets for 111 yards, two touchdowns and one interception for an 86.2 passer rating allowed (76.5 PFF coverage grade) over his last four games – a stark improvement.
San Francisco's kicker was a perfect 3-of-3 on field goals yesterday, including kicks of 52 and 53 yards as well as 4-of-6 touchbacks on kickoffs. Gould is a perfect 18-of-18 on field goals in his career in the postseason, including 11-of-11 of 40-plus yards and 31-of-31 on extra points.
Omenihu garnered a 72.2 pass rush grade against the Cowboys, recording a career-high six quarterback pressures on 25 pass rushes, including 1.5 sacks.