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49ers defense continues strong run in win over Chiefs

We take a look at a few of the defensive highlights from the 49ers 15-13 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

While the story of the game turned into B.J. Daniels' entertaining fourth quarter performance (and oh we'll have plenty on it), the story for the first three quarters was another strong performance by the 49ers defense. Through eight quarters of play, the defense has yet to give up a touchdown. A week after holding the Broncos to 220 total yards and securing four sacks, they held the Chiefs to 170 total yards and secured seven sacks.

The 49ers defense has been strong the last two years, but as we saw late last season, the depth was a bit of a question mark once starters started to wear down. The 49ers used the draft and free agency to add some defensive talent, and the depth on the roster is showing. In Friday's win over the Chiefs, the 49ers defensive depth was on full display, as the second team defense had no trouble containing Alex Smith and the Chiefs' first string offense. The Chiefs were playing without Jamaal Charles, so we'll have to keep that in mind, but it was still a strong performance.

Through two games, the pass rush impresses me as much as anything. The 49ers pass rush struggled late last season, but we could be looking at much-improved unit this season. Corey Lemonier put together his second solid outing, as he could very well be working his way toward a fair amount of playing time this season. Parys Haralson and Cam Johnson also got in on the act.


What was most intriguing was seeing the pressure off the edges by the 49ers cornerbacks. Perrish Cox converted two corner blitzes for sacks, and Nnamdi Asomugha got a nice pressure on an incomplete Alex Smith pass. The 49ers have used corner blitzes before, so they were not showing any surprises. They did seem to use it a bit more, but that might have been knowing it could prove effective against Alex Smith. While Smith isn't a statue in the backfield, a quick blitz can be effective against him.

We can point to strong play across the board on defense. Perrish Cox and Nnamdi Asomugha jumped out as two of the big performers in the secondary. Michael Wilhoite and Nick Moody did good work at inside linebacker. Corey Lemonier brought another strong performance at OLB. Ian Williams continues to impress at nose tackle. It's an intriguing group.

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