Can we talk about the 49ers defensive efforts vs. Seahawks again?

Seriously, the 49ers defense was an elite unit against the Seahawks over the course of Thursday Night Football on Thanksgiving.

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Charvarius Ward (7) knocks away a pass intended for Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf (14)
San Francisco 49ers cornerback Charvarius Ward (7) knocks away a pass intended for Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf (14) / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
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Final. 13. 36. 49ers Seahawks score. 31. 42

While Christian McCaffrey went off on Thanksgiving, it was the 49ers defense that dominated the Seahawks on Thursday night.

Remember back when the San Francisco 49ers defense seemed about as permeable as a wet paper bag?

That three-game losing streak now seems like a lifetime ago, as coordinator Steve Wilks' defense has reverted back to being one of the NFL's elite units. Perhaps it was the NFL trade deadline deal for Chase Young that helped spark the Niners defense back to life.

And that defense played a massive role in shutting down the Seattle Seahawks 31-13 on Thanksgiving.

"I always talk about getting back to playing our style," linebacker Fred Warner said after the game. "I guess, ever since we got Chase Young things kind of flipped around, didn't they."

Indeed, the Niners' pass rush has come back to life. While Young didn't record a sack during the game, his linemate, edge Nick Bosa, managed to get two. Before Young was around, opponents frequently double-teamed Bosa.

With Young present, it's not so easy.

In total, San Francisco sacked Hawks quarterback Geno Smith six times during the game, which did make a massive difference in Seattle having a mere 132 net passing yards.

But the defensive masterpiece against the Seahawks doesn't end there.

49ers defense dominated 1st half vs. Seahawks

The Hawks managed to sustain some drives in the third quarter and threatened what had turned into a substantial 49ers lead at halftime.

Before that, though, the Niners defense effectively "put the clamp down."

Seattle had just 56 total yards and three first downs over the first two quarters, and San Francisco pitched a shutout on third downs, too.

The Hawks would go 3-of-11 on third downs to end the game. Ultimately, the 49ers held the Seattle offense out of the end zone all night, the only touchdown coming via a pick-six interception.

"I think they were like one for nine on third down," linebacker Fred Warner said, his numbers slightly off but the point remaining the same. "That's winning football all day long."

Eventually, the Seahawks would finish with 220 total yards and 14 first downs, but those first-half defensive efforts helped set the tone.

"The first half of this game we just couldn't get out of our way enough to make them go long fields and to keep the football," Hawks head coach Pete Carroll said. "So they got off to a great start, really good drive to open up. …This is a really difficult team to play when you give them stuff, give them the field position opportunities and we don't make our first downs, so it'd be hard for anybody against them and we saw what that was like."

Pick your 49ers Week 12 MVP on defense

Week 12 was a case example of just how much talent the 49ers have on defense.

Did one player take over? No. Instead, players at all three levels took over and at various points throughout the game.

Bosa helped with his two sacks and five quarterback hits, while Warner added six tackles. Defensive tackles Javon Hargrave and Arik Armstead got in on sack celebrations, while safety Tashaun Gipson blitzed for a sack of his own.

Related story: Christian McCaffrey closes in on more cherished 49ers records

If there was one star performance, though, it might be from cornerback Charvarius Ward, who was tasked with shutting down Seattle's star wide receiver, DK Metcalf.

Metcalf had just three catches for 32 yards, while Ward recorded three passes broken up.

Regardless of who stepped up, it sure feels as if the entirety of Wilks' defense set the tone over the course of Thanksgiving's game.

To quote Warner, "That's winning football all day long."

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