Charvarius Ward might not be a household name yet, but outstanding play in the 49ers' 42-19 win over the Philadelphia Eagles has the cornerback in the spotlight.
The six-year defensive back has yet to receive Pro Bowl or All-Pro recognition, but with a league-leading 19 pass breakups through Week 12, Ward is well on his way.
“Hopefully I can turn some of those pass deflections and pass breakups into interceptions and make big plays,” Ward said on Sunday. “Making PBU’s is good, but getting turnovers, that will take my game and the defense’s to a whole new level if I start catching those balls.”
Stay in the game with the latest updates on your beloved Bay Area and California sports teams! Sign up here for our All Access Daily newsletter.
Ward notched a team-high four pass breakups facing the Eagles, which ranks behind only Philadelphia’s own James Bradberry who recorded five in the Eagles' overtime win over the Buffalo Bills, and New Orleans Saints Alontae Taylor who notched the same amount when playing the Green Bay Packers in Week 3.
Four pass breakups match Ward’s career-best from his 2022 Week 5 performance in Carolina.
The 27-year-old has by far outplayed his previous season-high of 11 pass breakups in 2022 but remains at two interceptions for the season, which he also recorded in 2019 and 2021 as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs.
The standout defensive back plans to work on his receiving skills after practice to try to improve his turnover stat.
San Francisco 49ers
“I’m going to get on the JUGS machine,” Ward said. “Keep working on my hands, and try to pick some of those balls off. That’s the next step for me.”
Ward is leveling up his game as much as the 49ers defense has been improving following their three-game skid in Weeks 6-8. Over the past three contests, the group has been on a roll and is starting to show its true potential.
Holding the Eagles to two field goals in the first quarter of the game was a huge motivator for the offense that had sputtered, as well as setting the tone for the rest of the game.
“I feel like we are getting better every week,” Ward said. “We are peaking at the right time, the perfect time, 9-3 now and we got to keep grinding, keep fighting and finish the season strong. We are just getting more confident in honing in on our technique every week in practice.
“I feel like we are getting better with less mistakes on defense, less explosives.”
After the Eagles' first two drives of the game that totaled 120 yards, the 49ers defense held Jalen Hurts and the offense to only 213 yards of offense for the remainder of the game and 13 points.
Ward has a few more contests to increase his interception and pass breakup totals for the season. The cornerback is already on pace to shatter the franchise PBU record held by Carols Rogers who racked up 22 in 2011. Ward could also challenge the single-game franchise record of six PBU’s held by Tarrell Brown since 2012.