49ers Eric Reid Week 1 2013 vs PackersThere were some disconcerting aspects to the 49ers’ defensive performance on Sunday. Despite registering 1.5 sacks, Aldon Smith didn’t get the pressure many felt he might against rookie tackle David Bahktiari. San Francisco’s secondary had trouble tackling — and more importantly covering — the Packers’ receivers. And while he only collected 41 yards, Eddie Lacy was able to score a late touchdown on the 49ers’ front seven.

Still, the defense held the Packers just enough to win the game, and there were plenty of highlights worthy of GIFing. Without further ado, here are the top five defensive GIFs from San Francisco’s victory over Green Bay.

Whitner muscles up

Nobody doubts Donte Whitner’s ability to hit, and late in the game the strong safety showed some great awareness (and more surprisingly, superhuman strength) by taking the 250-lb Jermichael Finley out of the air and body slamming him out of bounds:

Initially I thought he probably would have been out of bounds, but after watching this GIF, Finley probably would have fallen back straight into the end zone had Whitner not changed his direction. Not only an impressive play, but a game-changing one as well. Whitner described what went through his mind during the play to BASG here.

Brooks gets away with one

Look, if I’m going to make Clay Matthews’s antics part of the Offense Edition, then this hit from Ahmad Brooks is going to make my Defense Edition:

The hit was late: Brooks knew it, Aaron Rodgers knew it … hell, T.J. Lang knew it, but he didn’t really do anything about it. People rave about the 49ers-Seahawks rivalry, and for good reason, but don’t underestimate how much disdain exists between the 49ers and the Packers.

Welcome to the NFL, Eddie (Alternatively, LOOK OUT FOR JUSTIN SMITH)

I’ve had a long-standing debate with one of my buddies about whether Eddie Lacy will pan out as an NFL running back. He always reminded me a little bit of Anthony Dixon, and it seems even Andy Lee could be an All-American behind Alabama’s offensive line.

It looks like I was wrong. Lacy is a tough runner and he’s hard to tackle. But here’s a situation where he probably wishes he was back in the friendly confines of the BCS National Championship Game:

There are few things more terrifying than having Aldon Smith and Ray McDonald dragging you down. One of them is having Justin Smith and NaVorro Bowman barreling towards you full speed with bad intentions. Yikes.

All of the Eric Reid highlights

One of the most polarizing debates early in the offseason was whether the 49ers should keep Dashon Goldson. You know the story — Goldson left for Tampa Bay (where he delivered his first knockout blow and received his first personal foul of the season against the Jets) while the 49ers moved up in the draft to take Eric Reid.

So far, so good. Eric Reid was a highlight machine on Sunday. He tackles soundly. He can hit hard in space. He’s got ball skills.

And for those of you who miss Goldson, he can do this too:

It was a spectacular rookie debut for the 49ers first-round pick, even despite two missed tackles. If he fared this well against the pass-happy Packers, Reid’s future looks bright.