The 49er defense hasn't been the same since the night of December 16th. If it doesn't revert back to pre-that night, they'll lose Super Bowl 47.
The Niner defense was dominant heading into that Sunday night game against the Patriots. And for the first two and a half quarters of that game, it had mauled Brady and company to the tune of four forced turnovers and a 31-3 lead. If not for a few offensive mishaps, San Fran would've led Pats in Foxboro 52-3. It was a one-sided beatdown and anybody watching had to think this was the best team in the league. The 49er D had some '85 Bears in em that night, until all of the sudden, it didn't.
New England roared back that night scoring 31 points while rolling up 330 yards in a quarter and a half of football. San Francisco held on to win the game 41-34, but its defense hasn't been the same since. Seattle torched the Niner D for 42 points the following week, Green Bay despite some turnovers rolled up 31 in round 2, and Atlanta despite two turnovers in the 2nd half put up 24 points and 477 yards. The Niners finished 3rd overall in yards allowed and 2nd in points allowed during the regular season but over the last month they've given up 414.5 yds and 27.5 pts....not good. Health can be blamed for some of it particularly the injury to Smith but some of it is inexplicable. If they haven't figured it out by today, they're in trouble.
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