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Sunday Standouts: Defensive Special

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San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images

With defense being a theme over the last several weeks, and no Duck doing much contributing offensively, it’s only fitting we dedicate one week to only the best defenders of the week.

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Defense

Top Defensive Performers

  • DeForest Buckner - San Francisco 49ers

The seventh overall pick in the 2016 draft truly has been a silent assassin for the San Francisco 49ers all season. Most if not all the noise and hysteria has been centered around the second overall pick in the draft (Nick Bosa) and Arik Armstead’s breakout season. And while all this has been happening, DeForest Buckner continues to give offensive coordinators nightmares. Buckner was a menace in the backfield all night against the Cardinals sacking the ever-elusive Kyler Murray and recording a team-high two tackles for loss. Through eight games played Buckner has a combined 33 tackles, 4.0 sacks, two forced fumbles, fumble recovery, five tackle for losses, two pass deflections and eight quarterback hits.

  • Joe Walker - Arizona Cardinals
San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Not your usual candidate for Sunday Standout, but when the next man up was called, Joe Walker answered. Despite falling in a tightly contested game to the 8-0 49ers, Walker made his presence felt on the field. Playing in 42 (57%) snaps, the third to last pick in 2016 recorded double-digit tackles with 10 tied for a respectable second-most on the team. Walker replaces Haason Reddick who has been demoted by the Cardinals, according to Jess Root of Cardswire.usatoday.com.

  • Arik Armstead - San Francisco 49ers
Carolina Panthers v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

Armstead had a quiet day against Arizona recording only two total tackles in the 28-25 victory, but his 2019 has been anything but quiet. Through eight games Armstead has already broken several career marks including sacks, TFL and fumble recoveries. He’s been on a tear in the first half of the season recording a combined 28 tackles, 5.5 sacks, seven TFL, seven QBH, a forced fumble and fumble recovery. Armstead has been on a career-best pace, we’ll see if he can carry his impressive play into the second half of 2019.

  • Justin Hollins - Denver Broncos

Another unlikely contributor to the Sunday Standouts, Justin Hollins marked the first sack of his career, bringing down 2018 first-overall draft pick Baker Mayfield. Hollins finished with two tackles, 1.0 sacks, TFL and a QBH in the 24-19 victory over the Browns. Denver moves to 3-6 on the season.