Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Saleh on 49ers defense: ‘I can’t remember a time it’s been this good’

Oct 13, 2019 at 5:24 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers trounced the Los Angeles Rams 20-7 at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Week 6, although the score isn't quite indicative of just how dominant the win was for head coach Kyle Shanahan and Co.

More importantly, it was a dominant win for defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.

Despite the current 3-3 record for the Rams, they entered this crucial NFC West bout with the No. 6 overall scoring defense and a pass offense which had more attempts (222) than any other team in the league prior to the week's slate of games.

And San Francisco subsequently held Los Angeles to the lone touchdown, which occurred on its first drive, and a mere 157 total yards of offense. Rams quarterback Jared Goff passed for just 78 yards in the game, which marked a career low for the former No. 1 overall NFL Draft pick.

Saleh, meanwhile, was visibly pumped throughout the game, especially after the Niners stifled back-to-back goal-line attempts on their own 1-yard line:

"I'm not going to lie, I black out during those moments," Saleh told reporters after the game. "I get excited for the guys and their success, and what they're going through."

While Saleh's defense did allow its first rushing touchdown of the season, this unit all but clamped down on Goff and the Rams offense for the rest of the game. And there are some notable stats, too. L.A. attempted nine third-down attempts and four fourth-down attempts.

It converted on zero of them.

"In the entirety, the defense set the tone," tight end George Kittle added. "I can't say enough positive things about them. They get the offense going."

Defensive back Jimmie Ward stood out during the game, too, as did a large chunk of San Francisco's secondary, which frequently blanketed Goff's targets. It didn't go unnoticed by Saleh, either.

"Kudos to the guys on the back end, creating really good, tight coverage where Jared just wasn't able to just step, hitch and throw," Saleh continued. "And of course the relentlessness of the front, just made it uncomfortable for him."

And those efforts helped keep the Rams from converting on third and fourth downs.

"I think we had Denver at 1-of-18 last year, I think," Saleh said of the third-down tries. "They had a lot of fourth-down conversions, but I can't remember a time it's been this good."
  • Written by:
    Peter Panacy has been writing about the 49ers since 2011 for outlets like Bleacher Report, Niner Noise, 49ers Webzone, and is occasionally heard as a guest on San Francisco's 95.7 FM The Game and the Niners' flagship station, KNBR 680. Feel free to follow him, or direct any inquiries to his Twitter account.

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