The San Francisco 49ers put quite a scare into the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, an encouraging performance against a team that handed them their worst loss earlier in the season.
The Cardinals lead the league in scoring but were held to their second-lowest point total in a 19-13 victory. Given that Arizona manhandled the 49ers 47-7 in Week 3, it gave San Francisco's defense reason to feel positive going forward.
“It’s a sign of progress,” 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman told reporters after Sunday's game. “Today’s team is a team that’s going to win a lot of games. For us to respond like that after losing the way we did the first game, that says a lot.”
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San Francisco limited the league's top-ranked offense to 337 yards – 73 below its average – in a big bounce-back effort after it was steamrolled by Seattle in Week 11. The 49ers were gouged by the Seahawks for 508 yards overall, including 255 on the ground, but held the Cardinals to 70 yards rushing.
“I’m happy about the way we played,” said Bowman, who registered a team high-tying eight tackles. “We have no moral victories, as we say, but we can definitely build on this.”
First-year coach Jim Tomsula echoed Bowman's assessment of the defensive unit's performance, but also emphasized that the team cannot lose sight of the bottom line.
“It’s a loss,” Tomsula said. “Yes, I believe there is progress. But we’re in the business of winning games. We have to win games.”
"For us to respond like that after losing the way we did the first game I think says a lot about this team." –@NBowman53