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SANTA CLARA Matt Bryant
Jersey , Calif. (AP) While the addition of Jimmy Garoppolo under
center dramatically changed the look of the 49ers’ offense on Sunday, it had a
huge impact on the defense as well.
Garoppolo helped San Francisco to control the game by nearly doubling up the
Bears in time of possession, 38:47 to 21:13, which meant the defense played a
season-low 36 snaps while putting together one of its best performances of the
”I honestly felt like I could play another full game after that game,”
defensive lineman DeForest Buckner said.
Buckner is San Francisco’s resident iron man. He led NFL defensive linemen in
snaps as a rookie last season by playing more than 1 Matt Bosher
Jersey ,000 despite missing a game due to injury. Playing 26 on
Sunday was welcomed after entering the week averaging 59, again near the top of
The 49ers (2-10) came out of Chicago with their first road victory thanks to
a balanced effort with Garoppolo moving the ball up and down the field. The
offense logged 388 yards and converted 10 of 18 third downs to extend
The defense allowed just 147 nets yards, the fewest since November 2012, and
eight first downs, the fewest by any opponent since 2010. They were fresh in the
fourth quarter Ricardo
Allen Jersey , which helped them force a punt leading to
Garoppolo’s game-winning drive that ended with a field goal to pull out the
”It was awesome to be able to sit back and watch the offense go to work,”
defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said. ”You don’t get many opportunities at
that. I don’t care what team you play for. You just don’t get opportunities to
be able to be a spectator as much. So, it was pretty cool.”
Salah is charged with turning around a defense that was among the worst in
franchise history last season. The team has promising young talent starting with
Buckner and linebacker Reuben Foster, who was named the league’s defensive
rookie of the month for November.
If the Garoppolo-led offense can replicate its performance this week against
the Texans, it will give Saleh’s unit another chance to make strides in its
development as the season winds down. He said his defense had noticeably more
energy in the second half against the Bears than any other game this season.
”It is contagious. When the offense is moving the ball you could hear our
guys on the sideline Ryan
Schraeder Jersey ,” Saleh said. ”It was the urgency at which they
felt they needed to get the ball back for the offense because they were doing so
well. It’s a team game.”
Perhaps the most difficult task facing San Francisco’s defense on Sunday is
covering Texans wideout DeAndre Hopkins, who’s tied for the league lead with
nine touchdown catches on top of 1,084 yards receiving. Another promising
rookie, Ahkello Witherspoon, is looking forward to going against one of the
game’s best pass catchers.
”I like going against the best receivers Andy Levitre
Jersey , so this is my first opportunity to really go up against
one who’s known, who has been proven in this league. That’s really what I’m
excited for,” Witherspoon said.
NOTES: Buckner was given Thursday’s practice off, the team said. … RT Trenton
Brown (shoulder) was limited Thursday after not participating Wednesday. He was
questionable for the game in Chicago after missing the previous loss to the
Seahawks. … S Adrian Colbert wore a non-contact blue jersey and was listed as
limited after having thumb surgery during the Week 11 bye.
For more NFL coverage: www.pro32.ap.org and