Super Bowl XLVII: San Francisco 49ers on defense

There is a lot of talk about the 49ers offense, but their defense is one of the best in the league.  The 49ers defense is stacked with several talented veterans.  Head coach Jim Harbaugh is old school, so the guys on this defense hit hard and finish with a tackle.  They led the league in fewest yards after contact this season, only allowing 909 rushing and receiving yards after contact.  This means that Anquan Boldin and Ray Rice will not get very far when the 49ers hit them.

Here are the potential starters and key players on the 49ers defense.

Tackles and Ends

Ray McDonald (#91 Defensive End) – One of only three NFL defensive linemen to score two touchdowns in the last two seasons.

Isaac Sopoaga (#90 Nose Tackle) – Versatile enough to play nose or defensive tackle.

Justin Smith (#94 Defensive End) – Leader of the defense.  All-pro physical player who creates opportunities for other players.  Team suffered when he was out with a torn tricep.


Ahmad Brooks (#55 Outside Linebacker) –  46 tackles and 6.5 sacks this season.

NaVorro Bowman (#53 Inside Linebacker) – Leads the team in tackles with 149.

Patrick Willis (#52 Inside Linebacker) – Captain and sack leader.  Five-time first-team All-Pro and six-time Pro Bowl selection.  Known for good coverage and strong hits.

Aldon Smith (#99 Outside Linebacker) – Had 19.5 sacks during the regular season.  He did not have any during the final two games of the season or the playoffs.

Defensive backs

Carlos Rogers (#22 Cornerback) – Veteran Pro Bowl cornerback. Has been more productive in San Francisco than he was in Washington, DC where he had a reputation for missing interceptions.

Tarell Brown (#25 Cornerback) – Fast and physical.  He had an interception against Green Bay in the Divisional Playoff game this season.

Donte Whitner (#31 Strong Safety) – Veteran Pro Bowl safety.

Dashon Goldson (#38 Free Safety) – Two-time Pro Bowl safety.

Next we will look at their teammates on offense.

Get in the game!

Posted on January 29, 2013 at 10:24 am

Written by

Shavannia Williams

Shavannia is the founder of Heels & Helmets and editor of its e-magazine, She also writes the football column, Gridiron, for the e-magazine. A sports marketing professional with over 13 years of experience, Ms. Williams has worked with the NBA, NCAA, NFL, NHL, and WNBA. As the owner of a marketing firm, Shavannia’s client roster includes: DC Women’s Business Center, NFL Players and United Way NFL Partnership. Her love for football began at The University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, where she worked for Michigan Football and received her B.A. in Sport Management and Communication. She is excited to bring talented women together to provide a resource to help other ladies “join the conversation at the office” and enhance their business relationships. Follow her on twitter @MzGridiron.
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