That was a bit of a shock. Big Dick Nick engorged himself on a defense that couldn’t stop George Kittle as the 49ers raced to a first half lead they didn’t manage to give up. Although the stat differential was more than crazy.
- Kittle. He had 7 catches for 210 yards in the first half, and 0 for 0 in the 2nd.
- The Niners gained 332 yards in the 1st half – 57 in the 2nd.
- The Niners scored 20 in the 1st, and 0 in the 2nd
- The Niners gave up 0 in the 1st, and 14 in the 2nd (and Denver passed up 2 easy FG opportunities)
The big difference? They closed a game out without blowing it. Granted, they were helped immensely by Vance Joseph. He turned down 2 opportunities to kick field goals in a game that the 49ers couldn’t restart their grounded offense in the 2nd half. they did go 5-7 on those 4th down conversion attempts, but those 2 they didn’t make were huge. They were also helped by a pick on a ball that was dropped by Trent Taylor.
And overall, this is what I thought we had on defense. The team was flying around making tackles, not giving up big runs, getting pressure, and causing enough mayhem to keep Denver’s recent successful run game slowed to a crawl. From what I gathered after the game, the defense especially went with the young players at the cost of guys like Malcolm Smith, Dekoda Watson, and Jimmie Ward. D.J. Reed had a phenomenal game as he was all over the place on his 12 tackles. Solomon Thomas had a lot of inside pressure, Blair and Reed both got sacks, and the defense held Case Keenum to 186 yards in the air on 24-42 passing. Denver got theri run game going a little with Phillip Lindsey, but in the end it wasn’t enough.
Sure, we turtled up in the 2nd half. But we got the 1st downs they desperately needed in the end as they (almost) ran out the clock to finish the game. BDN even shriveled up a bit as he hiked the ball too quickly on the 4th down play and gave Denver one additional play, but it didn’t matter.
In the end a decent win against a decent team. And we still hold the #1 seed. Can’t ask for much else. And I think BDN has solidified his place as the backup. The Beater should shine up his jock and get ready to move along.