Trend No. 4: 49ers’ defense is solidifying
Early on in the season, new 49ers’ defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans was looking a little shaky, especially during the second half of the Lions game and most of the game against the Packers.
And while the former NFL linebacker and first-year coordinator is still likely to go through his growing pains as he grows into his role, the defense appears to be trending in the right direction after holding the Cardinals to just 17 points in Week 5, a team that has scored over 30 points in every game this season on their way to a 6-0 start.
There have been other bright spots, too, including much of the first half against Seattle and holding the Eagles to just 11 points in Week 2, so the unit is still searching for ways to string together not only games but halves, but that Arizona game in particular points to a group on the rise.
The defense line, as expected, has been the driving force in this upward movement, with EDGE Nick Bosa leading the team with five sacks in five games along with eight tackles for loss. This has helped the defense overcome key losses and inconsistent play in the secondary to be one of the stingier defenses in the league through five games.
Ryans hasn’t arrived yet by any stretch of the imagination, but he has shown improvements and maturation as the season has gone on. If he can continue to do so, that’ll be key to San Francisco’s defensive success as the season moves on.