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San Francisco 49ers head coach Chip Kelly met with the media today and was asked what the difference was with the run defense against the Arizona Cardinals. After all, prior to the 23-20 loss on Sunday, the 49ers had allowed 7-straight 100-yard performances by running backs, which is an NFL record.
"First and foremost, I think we tackled better," Kelly answered. "It was the least amount of missed tackles we had on the season in that game. Our guys did a really good job of negating the yards after contact just because of the amount of missed tackles that we had. I thought our guys had a good understanding of what the game plan was going in. The interesting thing is that we didn't really do anything differently from a front standpoint or a coverage standpoint. It was just our guys going our and executing what they had to do.
"I thought our outside linebackers in the matchup with their tight ends did a really good job. I thought Ahmad Brooks and Eli Harold specifically did a good job of setting the edges for us. And then when we set the edges, the ball has to bounce and when the ball bounces, the secondary has to make tackles. I thought they did a good job from that standpoint."
The 49ers defense held the Cardinals running game to just 80 total yards rushing. RB David Johnson was held to 55 yards after gashing the 49ers defense for 157 during Week 5. The 49ers had allowed 211 yards per game during their seven losses leading to Week 10.