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49ers vs. Steelers fourth quarter thread: Defense continues to dominate

The 49ers have been as advertised through 3 quarters.

San Francisco 49ers v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Whatever Shanahan said at halftime, the team got the message. Christian McCaffrey spun his way into the end zone but not without the help from Brandon Aiyuk and Ray-Ray McCloud.

That long touchdown run gave the 49ers another commanding 27-7 lead, and erased any momentum the Steelers had after their score at the end of the half.

Pittsburgh gained 26 yards on their first play from scrimmage, but wound up punting after failing to pick up more than four yards on the next set of downs.

The Purdy to Aiyuk connection continued to shine, as Aiyuk caught passes of 16 and 15 yards. But T.J. Watt continued to get the best of Colton McKivitz, and a sack ended the Niners drive.

Watt wasn’t done, as he beat McKivitz on the ensuing series, where he forced another fumble and this time the 49ers weren’t fortunate enough to recover.

So, after a starting the drive on San Francisco’s 39-yard line, the Steelers had an opportunity for more points. The Niners forced a 4th & 4 from the 8-yard line. But Pickett had nowhere to throw the ball, and Pittsburgh came up empty.

Through nine possessions, the Steelers manufactured one scoring drive. And that one drive was largely due to self-inflicted wounds.