SANTA CLARA, Calif. – It seems to me the San Francisco 49ers have been playing with a purpose in the past two games.
Don’t get me wrong, this defense has played at a high level for virtually the entire season. But against Washington and St. Louis, the 49ers’ defense seems like a unit possessed. Spanning the second half of the Redskins game and the first half of the Rams game, the 49ers allowed 103 total yards and three points. That’s an amazing four quarters of defense.
I wondered if the dominance had anything to do with it coming directly after the controversial loss in New Orleans. You remember it. The 49ers appeared to get a game-sealing fumble recovery, but linebacker Amhad Brooks was flagged for a controversial hit. The penalty nullified the fumble, and the Saints went on to win.
I asked a few 49ers defensive players if the controversial call fueled the two strong performances. I got all the same response: Yes.
“We’re [upset],” safety Donte Whitner said. “We feel like we got robbed, and we’re taking it out on teams we’ve been playing. No one is really talking about it, but you see it on tape. We’re playing with a purpose. We want to do everything in our power to get the job done.”
Brooks said he still feels like the New Orleans game was “stolen” from the 49ers and that the defense is playing especially hard as a result.
“We’re playing at a high level,” Brooks said. “We want it. We’re doing everything we can to make sure we help this team get where we want to get.”
Whitner said that, in a strange way, the result in New Orleans may benefit the 49ers.
“In a way, I think it is helping us, because of the way we are playing,” Whitner said.