The 49ers own the second best rushing defense in the NFL this season they have shut down many of the top running backs in the NFL already this season. The defense in San Francisco is dominated and what makes it go is its unrelenting run defense. Led by inside linebackers Patrick Willis and first year starter Navarro Bowman who rank 3rd and 7th currently in tackles in the NFL the group hasn’t allowed a 100 yard rusher in an NFL record 28 consecutive games.
In fact only one running back this season has rushed more 37 yards against the 49ers when Cedric Bensen rushed for 64 yards on 17 carries. Three of the six running backs the 49ers faced rushed for less than 30 yards. The 49ers so far have shut down Marshawn Lynch 33 yards 13 carries 2.5 avg, Felix Jones 25 yards 9 carries 2.8 avg, LeShaun McCoy 18 yards, 9 carries, 2.0 avg, LeGarrette Blount 34 yards, 10 carries, 3.4 avg, and Jahvid Best 37 yards, 12 carries, 3.1 avg. Nobody and I mean nobody is gaining any yardage against this team.
Page 2: Why it’s a risk to your health to run against the 49ers
Not that terrible production isn’t bad enough for opposing RBs but not many are making it through the game healthy either. The 49ers have injured 4 running backs dating back to the preseason when Texans RB Arian Foster injured his hamstring on a Patrick Willis hit and was limited through the start of the regular season. Since Dallas RB Felix Jones suffered a separated shoulder when Willis and Bowman combined for a big hit in week 2. Week’s 3 and 4 the 49ers didn’t knock anybody out but they were back at it again weeks 5 and 6. First it was LeGarrette Blount who injured his lower leg on a huge hit from Dashon Goldson. And last week Jahvid Best of the Lions who added fuel to the fire by saying earlier in the week that he hated the 49ers was knocked out with a concussion and could be out for an extended period. And the list doesn’t just include RBs either, in the teams only loss to the Dallas Cowboys the 49ers broke QB Tony Romo’s ribs which are still being protected by a special vest in games.
If you ask budding star ILB Navarro Bowman the 49ers aren’t out to hurt anyone it just happens and if you read into what he’s saying he doesn’t think it’s likely to stop and neither do I. Good luck Peyton Hillis, you’re going to need it.
Yeah, I did (notice the injuries). Just the way we play defense,” Bowman said. “You have to keep hitting and putting the pressure on opposing offenses to make them bleed. That’s pretty much how we play the game. We don’t go out there trying to hurt anybody or anything like that. But the way we play defense, it’s going to take a strong man to finish the game with us.”
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