LONDON -- One of the reasons the San Francisco 49ers are 5-2 and on a four-game winning streak is they have developed into a three-phase team.
Not only are the 49ers’ offense and defense playing well, but the special-teams units (particularly the coverage teams) are becoming dominant. That is crucial since the 49ers advanced to the Super Bowl with weak coverage units last season. Improving special teams was a point of emphasis in the offseason and is it working out well for the 49ers. The unit has been spectacular during the four-game winning streak. It is led by terrific holdover C.J. Spillman, key veteran additions Kassim Osgood and Bubba Ventrone and rookie Darryl Morris.
It seems coach Jim Harbaugh raves about the unit on a weekly basis. The kick coverage unit is allowing 20.7 yards per return. Last year, the 49ers allowed 26.9 yards per return and it allowed a kick return for a touchdown in the Super Bowl loss to Baltimore. On punts, the unit is allowing 5.7 yards per return after allowing 10.5 yards per return last season.
Coaches always preach the importance of special teams. The 49ers’ success this season is an example why.