“I don’t know. Heck of a game, a lot of emotions on the sideline. Ups and downs but, just proud of the way that we kept fighting as a team. We knew it was going to be a dogfight. That was a tough team. Proud of how we came out of it.”
You guys put up over forty points against the top scoring defense in the league. How much of that was your execution? How much of that was the defense helping you out?
“A little bit of both. When the defense does that, what’d they have, three turnovers today? That just puts you in such good field position offensively. Momentum of the game changes. Right before half that was an unfortunate situation, but this game could’ve went a lot differently if a couple things go other ways.”
There was talk earlier this week about seeing how you would stack up against that top defense. How curious were you to see how you would do against that defense? Now that you’ve done it, how do you think you did?
“I think it was a good test for us, especially as an offense. Our team overall responded. It was an overall team win today. Offense doing our part. Defense getting us field position. Special teams. It all came together really nice today. That’s what makes a good team. We’re moving in the right direction right now. It seems week by week we just keep getting better.”
You have won four in a row. Is this a playoff level team right now?
“Are we? We’ve won four games, so I don’t know. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there. That was a hell of a team we just beat so I think that was a good test for us. Next week is going to be another good one. Finish off the season strong next week.”
We’ve talked about red zone efficiency, that you wanted to improve on it last week. You guys were four of six in the red zone today. How was that process as far as getting better on that end of the field?
“I’ve said this in the past, it’s a process. That’s probably the hardest place in the field to execute. One little thing goes wrong and the whole play goes to waste. The extra time that we’re putting in at practice and everything is starting to pay off. Just being with those guys, talking the same language, seeing the same thing. It’s all coming together now.”
Speaking of red zone, how would you describe that play where you were pressured left and moving around, and that flip to WR Trent Taylor?
“Unbelievable catch. I didn’t see it until it was on the jumbotron, but what a great catch by him. O-line gave me time. I think they rushed three guys on that one so they gave me time. They covered up everything initially and we scrambled around. That’s just part of being on the same page with guys. It takes a little while to get that chemistry but I think we’re slowly moving towards that.”
Was it sidearm? Did you know what you were doing with that one?
“Yeah, I always do. The guy was in front of me so I had to throw it around him. Playing baseball paid off I guess today.”
Going against the best pass rushing group in the league today, you only took one sack. What goes into that? How do you attribute credit for that? Also, is that a little bit better than your expectations were going into the game?
“I owe [OL] Zane [Beadles] on that one. I held the ball for a split second too long and they got to me. I owe him one on that. But I think the O-line as a whole just did a great job today. That’s as good of a pass rush as we’re going to face all year and in the future. Answering that test, it’s nice having guys like that in front of you that you can trust play after play. It makes my job a lot easier.”
It’s only your second game here [at Levi’s Stadium] as a 49er. I know you talked a lot when you first got traded to the organization. How much do you think you’ve embraced being here? Of course you heard the fans giving you a good cheer when you walked into the interview room.
“It’s awesome. Things are going good right now. There’s a buzz in the air. You can feel it as soon as you walk in the stadium. Crowd’s going nuts just in pregame. It’s exciting. It’s a nice thing to be a part of.”
Speaking of excitement, RB Carlos Hyde made an early prediction for next year’s Super Bowl contenders with this team. Any thoughts about that?
Yep, sure did.
“I’ll talk to him about that. We’re dealing with the Rams next week and we’ll look at everything else after that.”
They obviously seemed to be frustrated at times today.
“Who seemed to be frustrated?”
The Jaguars, with the penalties and things.
Could you sense that? And also, how much do you take it on yourself as a quarterback to make sure your guys don’t engage in that?
“We knew coming into the game. We had a good feel for that. You just know who you’re going against ant what kind of team they are. I think going into the game we talked about that and just keeping our cool. Especially towards the end of the game when they started yelling at each other before they were yelling at us. It was just something we talked about on the sideline. Proud of the guys to be pros. [WR] Marquise [Goodwin] when I scrambled, he took a shot there. For him to get up and not retaliate, I can’t put that into words how hard that is for a football player to do. That was something big.”
You got in there and you kind of made sure he didn’t. Were you making sure on it or did you kind of stop him a little?
“It was an outrageous hit for the guy to do that. He’s a pro. Marquise is as pro as they come. it’s a pleasure to work with a guy like that.”
How important was it to get off to a hot start against that defense? To be able to dictate things instead of having to play from behind.
“It’s important. You don’t want to fall behind and let that puss rush get rolling on you. Jumping on them early, getting that first score especially and putting them in passing situations. It all played out pretty perfectly today. That’s how we want to play.”
General Manager John Lynch said you’ve exceeded their high expectations since you’ve gotten here. How has the situation matched up with your expectations?
“Well I wouldn’t want to throw those picks, those are eating at me a little bit. I think we’re working in the right direction. We knew it was going to be a process coming in here learning the playbook and all that stuff. We’re going in the right direction, we just have to keep grinding away week by week, day by day, and good things will happen.”