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Ronald Blair, standouts from Week 8 vs. Cardinals

The San Francisco 49ers do not have to search far for silver linings from Week 8 despite collapsing to defeat to the Arizona Cardinals.

Silver linings are all the San Francisco 49ers have to hang on to at the minute in a desperately disappointing 2018, and there were some more bright spots as they slumped to an 18-15 defeat to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 8.

The Niners were unable to finish the job despite holding a 12-point fourth quarter lead, a late collapse overshadowing what had been an impressive performance from the defense for three quarters.

It was a familiar tale for the Niners, who had numerous players who did not deserve to be on the losing side. Here we evaluate the performances of three such players.

Ronald Blair

It may seem strange to describe a player with 2.5 sacks as having a breakout year, but that is exactly what Blair is in the midst of. He was the best player on the 49ers defensive front on Sunday, logging a sack, a tackle for loss and a quarterback hit in a disruptive performance.

Blair combined with Cassius Marsh for the pressure that led to the safety that opened the scoring as Josh Rosen was flagged for intentional grounding in the endzone. Only DeForest Buckner (10) and Arik Armstead (9) have more QB hits than Blair’s six, which he has racked up in 247 defensive snaps compared to 433 for Buckner and 332 for Armstead.

On a defensive line filled with first-round picks, it is fifth-round pick Blair stealing the show. There is only one year left on his deal but, if he continues to perform like this, the 49ers will have little choice but to reward him with a new one.

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