For much of the year, many of us at Niners Nation have talked about how the 49ers’ offense was the stronger unit and would have to lead the team to victories. While the offense definitely had a good game yesterday, the defense stole the show.
In a relentless effort, Nick Bosa and company tallied three sacks, ten quarterback hits, and one forced fumble on Matt Ryan.
“That pass rush is coming alive, and they’re coming alive right when we need them to,” Fred Warner said after the game, “A lot of talent upfront, and they lead the way. They’re the ones who started penetrating on first, second down so they can earn the right to rush on third down and we got a lot of guys coming along.”
Things could have gotten off to a terrible start after a fumble on the opening kickoff, but Warner and company rose to the challenge with a goal-line stand. On the day, the 49ers stopped the Falcons three times inside the 10-yard line - something that hadn’t been done in the last 40 years.
“Those moments are like you have nothing left, and you have to really just bring something out,” Warner said, “It’s one more down. We have to get it. We have a situation where the game’s on the line. This is where we have to make something happen. We take pride in that. That was huge today for our team because those count like takeaways for the team. It gets crazy down there, but it was something that was really special.”
Atlanta had seven plays yesterday where they needed a yard for either a first down or a touchdown and they only converted one of them (a QB sneak for a first down in the final quarter down 31-13). That is complete domination at the line of scrimmage.
Credit to DeMeco Ryans. Even without any corners, Dre Greenlaw, or Azeez Al-Shaair, he still found a way to harass Matt Ryan all game long and lock it down at critical points in the game. How many first-year defensive coordinators can say they have a game like that on their résumé?
You can hear Fred Warner, as well as Kyle Juszczyk and Kyle Shanahan in today’s 49ers in Five podcast. Catch up on everything you need to know in about five minutes. Available everywhere you get your pods.