The 49ers pitched a full-game shutout on Sunday, beating the Saints 13-0. San Francisco’s defense has been used to pitching out second-half shutouts, but on Sunday, they held the Saints scoreless for 60 minutes.
The opponents have not scored on the 49ers’ defense in nearly 95 minutes of game time. The last score was a Cardinals’ touchdown with 4 minutes to go in the second quarter LAST week.
DeMeco Ryans’ unit hasn’t given up a point in the second halves of four-straight games. Putting that into context, they haven’t given up a second-half point in November — all of NOVEMBER. The last time they gave up a point in the second half was against the Chiefs back on October 23rd.
On Sunday, the 49ers defended every blade of grass in Levi’s Stadium. The Saints’ offense had the ball inside the 49ers’ 43-yard line on five different occasions. Yet, they came away with zero points.
Andy Dalton and the Saints had the ball at the five-yard line in two different positions and were stuffed both times.
San Francisco wasn’t perfect on defense. They gave up a few explosive plays, they struggled to generate pressure early in the game, and without Arik Armstead and Javon Kinlaw, they’ve become a terrible short-yardage defense.
That said, they came through when it counted on Sunday, punching out the ball from Alvin Kamara on two separate occasions, including one inside the 10-yard line from a launching Talanoa Hufanga.
Ryans is proving to be one of the most well-rounded defensive coordinators in the NFL, showing off his ability to schematically tear apart an opposing offense while motivating his players with a positive attitude that makes it a joy to play for him.
The 49ers’ defense has taken on the ethos of its defensive coordinator and have started to smother teams once again as they did in the first few weeks of the season. They have a few tough tests ahead with the Dolphins and Seahawks’ offense looming, but what they’ve done in the month of November has been insanely impressive.