Jimmie Ward is coming off his best game of the year in the 49ers' 23-20 Week 12 win over the Los Angeles Rams, and Richard Sherman wants the football world to put some respect on the safety's name.
"Jimmie Ward is playing outside of his mind," Sherman said in the "Cris Collinsworth Podcast featuring Richard Sherman." "He's honestly one of the best safeties in football, who never gets enough credit."
Ward dominated the Rams on the road. He finished the day with five tackles, two forced fumbles and a pass defensed. His 94.7 Pro Football Focus grade was a career-high. The grade didn't just lead the 49ers, it was the second-best among defenders in all of football for Week 12.
The big day bumped Ward's overall PFF grade to 76.6 on the season.
"In our scheme, he has to do everything," Sherman said. "He'll guard their No. 1 receiver, guard their tight end, then blitz, have to open-field tackle and usually he's the best at all of them. He caused two forced fumbles, and just has been incredibly consistent."
The 49ers re-signed Ward to a three-year, $28.5 million contract this past offseason. He has played in 10 of San Francisco's 11 games this season and has 51 tackles, four passes defensed and the two forced fumbles from Sunday. If the 49ers hope to make the playoffs, they certainly will need Ward to stay healthy and continue playing like he did against the Rams.