Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 1/18/12
Throughout the season and the NFL Playoffs, any discussions about the San Francisco 49ers have mostly centered on their defense. This weekend, San Francisco will host the New York Giants, and once again San Francisco’s defense will be the “it” factor that will determine whether San Francisco advances to the Super Bowl.

San Francisco’s heart, passion and determination on defense are part of the reason for San Francisco’s turnaround this season. Specifically, San Francisco’s defense has shut down opposing offenses through hard hitting, getting to the quarterback and forcing turnovers. 

No Points

During the regular season, San Francisco recorded one shutout, while holding two other teams to only three points. Additionally, only five teams were able to score 20 or more points on the San Francisco defense during the regular season.

San Francisco’s defense did give up 32 points to the New Orleans Saints, which is not great unless one considers the fact that New Orleans scored 40 or more points in four of their last six regular season games, while scoring 547 throughout the whole season.

Tackle, Tackle, Tackle
During the regular season, San Francisco’s defense recorded 928 tackles, with linebacker NaVorro Bowman recording 111 solo tackles and 32 assisted tackles for 143 total tackles. In addition, during the regular season San Francisco recorded 42 sacks, with Aldon Smith, Justin Smith and Ahmad Brooks being responsible for 28.5 of those sacks.

In San Francisco’s win over New Orleans, A. Smith, J. Smith and Brooks each recorded a sack, while the team as a whole combined for 67 tackles.

Turnovers
During the regular season, San Francisco recorded 23 interceptions, and forced 20 fumbles, recovering 15.

In their win over New Orleans, San Francisco’s defense intercepted Drew Brees twice and recovered a Pierre Thomas fumble. San Francisco was able to score 13 points off turnovers in the game, while keeping the ball away from New Orleans' offense.

This weekend San Francisco’s defense again will need to stop a high-powered offense, and the best way to do that will be turnovers.

Passing Defense
One area of concern this weekend will be stopping the long-ball touchdown. In their game against, New Orleans, San Francisco gave up a 44-yard touchdown and a 66-yard touchdown. Additionally, in their win over Green Bay, Eli Manning threw a 66-yard touchdown pass. Long balls that go for touchdowns, allow a team to score quickly while also dismantling a defense.

This weekend’s game between New York and San Francisco will be a great match-up, and for San Francisco to win their defense must step up. 
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Magic Johnson indicates Brandon Ingram is Lakers’ only untradeable player

Congress drafted a bill that could legalize online sports betting; how soon might it happen?

Oscar De La Hoya writes scathing letter opposing Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather

Mike Brown responds to Tyronn Lue saying Boston tougher to defend than Golden State

Concussions won’t change the way Luke Kuechly plays

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Kevin Durant opens up about how he shuts out the haters

Magic Johnson compares LaVar Ball to Kris Jenner

Dick’s Sporting Goods slipped again and sold Cavs NBA Finals merchandise early

Brandon Marshall responds to Sheldon Richardson calling him out

Julius Thomas says he’s a ‘better person’ after down years in Jacksonville

Josh Norman not impressed by Odell Beckham Jr. and Dez Bryant

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

It’s our civic duty to stop attending Super Bowls in new stadiums

Box Score 5/25: The Cavaliers look to close out the Celtics

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

Box Score 5/24: Craig Anderson saves the Senators

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

Box Score 5/23: Preds, Warriors move on to respective Finals

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker