Since losing to the Chiefs on October 23rd, the 49ers' defense has been the one element of the team that consistently performed at an elite level. Until yesterday.
DeMeco Ryans’ unit gave up 500 total yards, surrendered their most points in a game since that humbling defeat by Kansas City in October, and allowed points in the final two minutes of the game for the first time all season.
Afterward, Nick Bosa said the performance could ultimately be a wake-up call for the defense.
“Obviously a ton to correct defensively but for the offense to take control and win it for us was ginormous. We needed that. I’m proud of them.
A lot to get better on but I think we needed this as a defense. That’s a really good team. Best running back I’ve played against in my career - no doubt about it. Dude’s a beast, and they have a lot of really talented players. Quarterback played good.
The NFL will humble you a hundred percent of the time.”
It’s very hard to play at a historic level every single week, and New Year’s Day in Las Vegas against a team starting a backup quarterback was a prime spot for a letdown. Bosa even admitted later in the press conference that they underestimated Jarrett Stidham going into the game. Fortunately, the offense picked the defense up for a change and earned the victory.
As we all know, good teams find a way to get a W even when they aren’t at their best. The 49ers overcame a turnover on offense, a poor performance on defense, a missed game-winning 41-yard field goal at the end of regulation, and losing the coin toss before overtime yet still flew out of Sin City with a win.
Happy New Year, indeed.
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