Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports



San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan woke up on Monday morning knowing his team finally had its first regular-season win under its belt. While the victory came against a very bad New York Giants, the pressure to avoid going 0-16 was gone.

As he does every Monday, Shanahan went to work where he met with his team before the players took some much-needed time off during the 49ers' bye week.

"It was easier to wake up this morning," Shanahan told reporters on Monday. "It was more fun coming in just knowing that it was fun to see the guys today. You go through the tape. You've got to address the team every Monday, and it gets tougher and tougher after losses. It was nice to come in today just looking forward to addressing the team.

"Didn't have much to say. We just watched a lot of the tape together and a lot of clips. It was just fun to watch each other. We did some good things on special teams, defense and offense. I always try to show that as a group so the other sides of the ball could see each other, and I think the guys enjoyed it."

Usually, win or lose, a team has to quickly move on from its last game as preparations immediately begin for its next opponent. While the team would have liked for it to come earlier in the season, the timing of the 49ers' first win was good. It happened before the bye week so the team can savor the victory just a bit longer than they typically would be able to.

"I know it took a while to get our first win, and you've got to move on pretty fast," Shanahan continued, "but it was also nice knowing we have a bye week this week. So, I think it lasted a little longer today than usual."

The 49ers have lost a lot of close games this season. During one stretch, San Francisco lost five straight games by three-or-fewer points. To come so close in so many hard-fought defeats had to be demoralizing for a team that believes in its head coach and his plan for the future.

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Following Sunday's win, 49ers players celebrated in their Levi's Stadium locker room as if they had just earned a playoff berth. There will be no postseason for the 1-9 49ers, who wanted to put everything out there on the football field and treated Sunday's game like the last of the season.

"I think it's been a long few months," Shanahan said. "I think you build up and you go through a lot, a lot of emotions through all those losses. Guys really trying to compete and constantly being disappointed and to try to get up each week and try to fight again and come up short a number of times, and we started over last week again. We came in for those Wednesday meetings talking about there are four days left in our season, and we've got three days to prepare for four hours. And that's really all we wanted to talk about, all we wanted to see.

"I felt like the guys went about that all week from Wednesday on. And to act that way still doesn't guarantee you anything. Playing hard doesn't guarantee anything. All of it to me just gives you a chance."

49ers players were relieved to finally get their first victory of the season out of the way.

"It feels great," quarterback C.J. Beathard said following the game. "There's really nothing better. There's not a better feeling. That's why you play sports is that feeling in the locker room with your teammates celebrating a win. There's nothing like it."

With the pressure of winning their first game gone, 49ers players will focus on earning their second win of the season when they return from their bye week to prepare for a November 26 game against the Seattle Seahawks.

"I think we put pressure on ourselves week-in and week-out just to make sure we perform and execute," defensive lineman Ronald Blair said. "This week was no different. We make sure we hold ourselves to the highest standard. We finally executed and came through this week. After the bye week, it will be the same pressure."

"Nobody has ever wavered, given up on this team, no matter what the record was," Blair continued. "We all played like we have been undefeated. Nobody has wavered from their character. There's a lot of integrity in this locker room. I've got a lot of respect for every man on this team."

"It sparks the momentum for the last part of the season," defensive lineman DeForest Buckner said. "We want to finish out strong."

Tight end Garrett Celek scored one of the 49ers' four touchdowns during the 31-21 victory. The 47-yard score came near the end of the first half and put the 49ers up 17-13.

"I've said before that this is one of the best teams I've ever been on," Celek said. "I know that our record doesn't show it, but we are so tight and so close in this locker room. To finally get a win is huge."

A 33-yard touchdown run by running back Matt Breida gave the 49ers a 31-13 lead over the Giants with just over nine minutes left in the fourth quarter.

"Everyone was just excited and happy that we were able to get general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan a win, their first win," Breida said. "We were also ecstatic, but we knew we've still got another half of the season to finish when we come back from the Bye week, so we need to finish strong."

Linebacker Reuben Foster registered 10 combined tackles against the Giants (six tackles, four assists). Sunday was just his second complete game of the season. Foster has 24 combined tackles in those two games. Last week, the rookie predicted a victory for the 49ers.

"This team doesn't give up, no matter what," Foster said following the game. "I've seen a lot out of a lot of rookies. I'm impressed, and I'm honored to play with them."