4 toughest defenses facing Brock Purdy and the 49ers in 2024

The 49ers will compete against some of the stronger defenses during regular season.
Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons (R) San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (L)
Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons (R) San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (L) / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages
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Last season, the San Francisco 49ers possessed one of the NFL's best defenses.

This year, they face some potentially stiff competition as the Niners' offense could see its fair share of struggles scoring as a result.

Luckily, the 49ers were the only legitimately strong defensive team within the NFC West. The Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks did not rank in the top 15, defensively, in a number of the main categories.

However, the Niners' 2024 opponents outside of the NFC West pose some solid competition for San Francisco.

Let's take a look at the toughest squads that could give quarterback Brock Purdy and Co. fits.

No. 4: Chicago Bears, an un-BEAR-able defense

One may not think that a team who had the first overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft provides much threat against the runner-up in last year's Super Bowl.

The numbers don't lie, though. The Chicago Bears are a force to be reckoned with.

In 2023, Chicago ranked 12th with 324.2 yards allowed a game. The "Monsters of the Midway" also were tied for most defensive interceptions with San Francisco at 22.

Arguably, the Bears' defense only got better during the offseason. They signed free-agent safety Kevin Byard away from the Philadelphia Eagles, which strengthened the secondary.

Midseason acquisition, edge Montez Sweat has fit in well for Chicago, too, while defenders Tremaine Edmunds and Jaylon Johnson also have flexed their skill set for the Bears' defense.

When Chicago visits San Francisco this year, that No. 1 rushing defense from 2023 may still be able to contain the running back tandem of Christian McCaffrey and Elijah Mitchell, making Purdy's life much more challenging.