The 49ers might have gotten off to a slow start in their 23-7 win over the Texans, but it’s how they finished that matters most.
While Kyle Shanahan’s offense didn’t put a solid drive together until the final minutes of the first half, the defense and special teams came out rolling to keep the pressure off of Trey Lance in his second NFL start.
Elijah Mitchell played an important role with a record-setting performance in his first game back since suffering a knee injury in Week 13. The rookie’s 21 carries for 119 yards, two receptions and one receiving touchdown accounted for over 31-percent of the team’s 416 total yardage.
Trey Lance shined in his Levi’s debut completing 16 of his 23 attempts for 249 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, giving him a 116.0 rating. The young quarterback also carried the ball eight times for 31 yards.
Lance was given a clean pocket for most of the game, only pressured three times - one sack, two hurries.
On the other side of the ball, the 49ers' defense harassed Texans quarterback Davis Mills most of the game, with 20 total pressures - four sacks, four hits and 12 hurries.
Here are more PFF highlights from the 49ers Week 17 win:
WR Brandon Aiyuk - 85.8
The wideout scored his highest mark of the season. Aiyuk led the team in receiving with four catches for 93 yards and also drew a 37-yard pass interference penalty.
TE George Kittle - 81.0
Kittle might have only caught one of his two targets on Sunday but what a catch it was. The All-Pro’s one-handed grab over the middle for 29 yards kept the 49ers' drive alive and helped seal the win. Kittle’s 92.0 receiving grade on the season leads all NFL tight ends.
RB Elijah Mitchell - 71.1
The rookie running back might have missed one run at the beginning of the game but after that, was incredibly productive in his first game since Week 13. Mitchell carried the ball 21 times for 199 yards and also caught both of his targets, one for a touchdown.
The 49ers offensive line kept Lance protected most of the game allowing only three pressures. LG Laken Tomlinson (79.7), LT Trent Williams (78.3) and C Alex Mack (59.3) did not allow a pressure.
RG Daniel Brunskill (62.4 overall, 46.1 pass blocking) allowed one sack and one hurry. RT Tom Compton allowed one hurry giving him a 62.4 pass-blocking score but his 87.4 run-blocking score raised his overall number to a respectable 76.9.
DL Arden Key - 93.3
Key’s overall score is the highest of any edge defender so far in Week 17. The fourth-year lineman recorded seven quarterback pressures - one sack, three hits, three hurries in just 17 pass rushes.
DL Arik Armstead - 89.6
The veteran defensive lineman recorded three quarterback pressures - one sack and two hurries. Armstead was also an effective part of the run defense, racking up four run stops on the day.
CB Ambry Thomas - 75.9
The rookie cornerback is steadily improving. Thomas was targeted twice, allowing one catch for zero yards and had a pass break up and a near pick-six on the other target.
LB Fred Warner - 70.7
Warner recorded a team-high 15 combined tackles (missed 2) including five stops and forced a fumble. The All-Pro linebacker allowed six catches on seven targets in coverage but they totaled only 27 yards.
The 49ers' defense had Mills under pressure on 15 of his 36 dropbacks (41.7%).