Thearon W. Henderson
We take a look at the 49ers defensive performance in light of a comment by Carlos Rogers about playing down to other teams.
The 49ers put together a thoroughly dominating defensive effort on Monday Night Football, as the Chicago Bears could do nothing to contain Aldon Smith & company. The Bears offensive line was questionable heading into the game, and the 49ers defense showed just how questionable it was with their demolition.
The intense pass rush forced the Bears into bad field position, while also setting the table for the the secondary to get a pair of easy interceptions. Campbell found himself rushing throws and throwing off his back foot with pass rusher in his face. He really stood no chance against a 49ers defense that was playing some great football.
After the game, cornerback Carlos Rogers was asked about the 49ers performance in general:
Sometimes we play down to the level of other teams, but if we consistently play how we play each and every week no team is better than us.
This is not exactly a shocking comment, and it is something that we have seen with the 49ers, and often with a lot of teams. An offensive or defensive unit that has all the talent in the world will look fantastic against good teams, and then come out mediocre against lesser teams.
Last week, the 49ers had just such a situation as they came out completely flat-footed against the St. Louis Rams. They did bounce back to force the tie, but the poor performance out of the gates put them in a tough position and it showed.
As the 49ers head into the final six games of their regular season schedule, there is a mix of quality and not so quality opponents. I would like to hope the 49ers can "get up" for all the remaining games, but I do find myself wondering what to make of some opponents, such as the Rams, Dolphins and potentially Cardinals at the end of the season.
Is this something where the players just have to figure things out, or is there something the coaching staff can do to do a better job getting the players "up" for opponents that are not quite as good as others? There is no question this defense can dominate against most anybody. The question now is avoiding some of the mental dips we have seen this season.