Going into Week 11, most seemed ready to declare the winner of Monday night’s game the best defense in the NFL.
On Monday Night Football, the San Francisco 49ers and Chicago Bears faced off in a fistfight that wound up being more one-sided than anticipated. Following an uncharacteristic game against the St. Louis Rams that ended in a tie, the Niners D came out swinging.
San Francisco finished the evening with 6 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 2 interceptions and a safety. On top of which, they only allowed 7 points by the Bears, in the form of a futile second half touchdown.
Until Week 11, every game the Bears played, they took the ball away at least twice. This was the first game of the season where they failed to generate a takeaway. So not only did the Chicago defense leave something to be desired, but they were totally outshined by San Francisco’s effort.
The Niners had solid play from all three levels of their defensive infrastructure.
On the defensive line, Justin Smith had one of his dominating games, clogging lanes and creating havoc with his two line mates. The effort by Justin Smith allowed Aldon Smith to chalk up a career-high 5.5 sacks. In fact, all of the 49ers linebackers caught fire.
It’s difficult to discern who was better: the tandem of Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks, or NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis?
At the moment, it appears as if the 49ers have the best linebacker corps in the entire NFL. With two All-Pro inside backers and a potential Defensive MVP candidate in Smith, the Niners rolled on Monday night.
San Francisco’s backend also played well. Tarell Brown and Dashon Goldson accounted for two takeaways on athletic interceptions of Jason Campbell. Besides his one meaningless TD, stud WR Brandon Marshall was otherwise limited.
They were dominant at the point of attack and did not allow the Bears to establish a rhythm at any point. It’s hard to find a weakness in this 49ers defense. When they are playing their game, there is none better.