6 reasons why 49ers 2021 season was still awesome (it really was)

Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) /
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DeMeco Ryans, San Francisco 49ers
Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /

Reason No. 3: DeMeco Ryans’ defense is the real deal

San Francisco fans will be crossing their fingers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans doesn’t leave the organization for a head-coaching job anytime soon.

And with each remaining coaching vacancy closing, Ryans will be one step closer to returning for yet another year at the helm of the 49ers defense.

It didn’t always seem this way, though, as the Niners were defensively vulnerable early in the season, regularly surrendering 100-yard rush games and allowing such in seven of their first eight games of the year.

Read More: 4 reasons why DeMeco Ryans impressed us this season

Since then, and even including the NFC Championship loss, San Francisco only allowed one such occurrence.

True, Ryans inherited a talented defensive cast, but he also had to implement his own changes to get the most out of his players, such as defensive tackle Arik Armstead moving inside and getting rookie cornerback Ambry Thomas away from being a third-round NFL Draft bust and into a decent cover defensive back.

More importantly, though, the 49ers finished the regular season with the ninth-best scoring defense and the No. 3 defense, in terms of yards allowed.

Not bad at all for a first-year coordinator.