The San Francisco 49ers looked much more prepared in their 20-17 win over the San Diego Chargers than there flop against the Texans last week, with a lot of the credit going to the defensive line for the Red and Gold. Two players that especially stood out were NaVorro Bowman and rookie Aldon Smith, handling the Bolts' O-Line and forcing some important sacks.
Bowman didn't play long into the game, but his impact was felt all the same. His sack of Billy Volek forced a fumble which he recovered, setting up a 22 yard drive, capped off with a Anthony Dixon one-yard TD run. Here's what Bowman had to say about the play:
Talk about what you saw on your forced fumble and fumble recovery:
"It was just a basic blitz. I had the running back on me one-on-one and that's something that a linebacker wants to get when trying to get a sack. Running backs really like to cut and once they don't cut, you give them one move and get around them and chase the quarterback down and get the sack."
He also made a very good point about the Niners mindset coming into the game:
What are you working on during the last preseason game?
"Really just approaching it like it's a real game because the following week coming up is a real game. We really have to be focused. That's pretty much what the coaches are wanting to see out of us, that we're approaching it like it's a real game. I think we did that."
You sure looked game ready NaVorro, even if it was for just one play.
As for Rookie Aldon Smith, the rookie outside linebacker man-handled the Chargers O-line; 7 tackles 2.5 sacks, four quarterback hits and two tackles for loss. This kid is an absolute beast, and a great asset to have moving forward. Head coach Jim Harbaugh had this to say about his progress:
"Saw him playing with some passion there, with some emotion," Harbaugh said. "The light's coming on more and more and (he's) making really good progress."
Let the countdown begin to week one...
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