The San Francisco 49ers defense carried the team in its 31-17 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 1. The unit forced four turnovers, which included three interceptions — two of which were returned for touchdowns.

That's pretty impressive when the fan base got used to watching the defense struggle late in games last season. The 49ers offense could have done a better job helping the defense out, but if it works through its miscues and reaches its potential, all this talk of a potential run at the playoffs could come to fruition.

There's a lot of 'ifs' in there but the defense, at least, looks as good as advertised. Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh finally has a defensive front that can put pressure on opposing quarterbacks and force mistakes. That's good news for a coach who is often criticized by the fan base. A vocal portion of the Niner Faithful was calling for his job after last season.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network joined KNBR on Monday and shared what he learned about the 49ers on Sunday.

"I think Robert Saleh may be really good," Rapoport said on the "Murph and Mac" show. "Like, I remember when the 49ers were hiring him, I think it was during the Super Bowl because I'm pretty sure I reported it the morning of the Super Bowl."

It was actually on February 13, 2017. Super Bowl 51 took place eight days earlier.

"First of all, I didn't know how to pronounce his name," Rapoport continued. "Second of all, it was like, 'Wow, that's kind of an underwhelming hire,' right? I mean, you have this whole big staff, everyone has long-term deals, you hire some guy who was not kept on as a linebackers coach.

"This 49ers defense could be legitimately good, and I don't know what's going to happen with (Buccaneers quarterback) Jameis (Winston), maybe this is what his year ends up being, but it might also be that the 49ers defense is legit."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Rapoport below.