SANTA CLARA, Calif. — For the majority of Sunday’s loss to the Chicago Bears, the sanfrancisco 49ers looked poised to replicate recent history, knocking off the Bears on the potency of kicker Robbie Gould‘s right foot and a gently improving defense.

Unfortunately, a narrow 15-14 slug-fest win akin to this one the Niners had in Chicago last December wasn’t to be as the Niners only couldn’t solve Chicago’s fearsome defense. Although the Niners’ 14-9 loss to Chicago now snapped a two-game winning spurt, there were also some decent stuff that the Niners and their fans can remove this.

First of all, the 49ers remain strongly from the running for a top-five selection, one that may rise as high as the upper three and, with a bunch of assistance, to No. 1 ). The Niners also acquired a second strong afternoon from Gould, who provided all their things and always been among the most consistent kickers in the group.

Perhaps more important than any of this, though, has been another solid defensive performance by the Niners. That unit has emerged within the past few weeks and the Niners should be specially encouraged by the task of many youths who now dot the thickness graph on that side of the chunk.

“I presume we now ’ve had much more continuity the previous month and guys have remained fitter,” trainer Kyle Shanahan stated. “We’ve been just a little bit more in keeping with all the inventors who were on the market. We’ve been playing exactly the same two inside linebackersthe exact safeties, for the large partthe corners…”

On the list of young players stepping ahead: Lois handle D.J. Jones shows starter capacity whilst taking repetitions from veteran Earl Mitchell. Defensive backs D.J. Reed, Marcell Harris along with Tarvarius Moore have flashed the capability to be solid contributors, even if perhaps yours. The same is true of linebacker Elijah Lee.

But the Niners must not be calmed by the encouraging performances of a number of these younger players.

The Niners almost developed just two takeaways to go with the two they did get, only to own just one nullified by way of a booth inspection and another filtered out by way of a punishment. They almost shut a Chicago grading drive until it really took off, but defensive handle DeForest Buckner was called for a facemask penalty. They almost fell quarterback Mitchell Trubisky for a sofa down until he escaped to the opposite aspect of the area and fired a 26-yard completion. They came up with a goalline stand until fighter recipient Anthony Miller beat rookie cornerback Moore for a touch down.

Most those near misses removed a number of the luster in the day in which the Niners kept pace with all the NFC North champions chiefly on the potency of that defensive performance. Bay area held Chicago to 325 yards on your afternoon, including 3.2 yards per carry and 5.4 yards per match.

And the Niners’ takeaways were the very first as the Oct. 28 game against Arizona, though it took an embarrassing backward overhaul by Trubisky to break this series.

On the past 3 weeks, the 49ers have given an average of 328 yards per match, 17 points per game and have held opponents to 4.92 yards per playwith. Considering the quantity of younger players who are becoming routine snaps, that’s progress.

“I promise you it’s only guys playing sound,” cornerback Richard Sherman stated. “Occasionally as time passes, you really feel as if lsquo;Hi, I know where I’m supposed to be and that I can help this guy or that I can help this guy. ’ And that I presume we’ve gotten to the point at which guys are playing with comfortablethey know their homework and so they ’re adhering to them.”

The take away from dozens of close-but-no-cigar examples should be this: The Niners must put key tools — be it cap space, top draft selections or both — into bolstering the defense this offseason.

Surethat sounds simplistic, however, it did last year, too, and, besides signing Sherman and drafting linebacker Fred Warner from the third round, the majority of the 49ers’ chief investments came on crime.

When and if the Niners hit a spot where they’re strengthening for that postseason, they’ll require the players who can turn those almosts right into successes.


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