49ers

George Kittle knows why Jimmy Garoppolo threw five picks vs. 49ers defense

George Kittle knows why Jimmy Garoppolo threw five picks vs. 49ers defense

One thing has become very clear during the 49ers' 5-0 start: The defense is legit. 

Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh's unit put together another masterpiece Sunday when they held Jared Goff to 78 yards passing in a 20-7 win over their NFC West rivals.

Through five games, the 49ers defensive line has terrorized opposing quarterbacks, notching 17 sacks and holding opposing offenses to a 29.5 percent third-down conversion rate.

So, now let's think back to the preseason when Jimmy Garoppolo threw five straight interceptions during practice. It all makes sense now if you ask George Kittle.

“I was thinking in the third quarter while watching our defense play, ‘Huh, maybe this was the reason Jimmy threw those five interceptions in practice,'" the tight end said after the win in LA, via ESPN's Jeff Darlington.

Fair point.

While Garoppolo has been far from perfect this season, the internet panic button that was pressed after that horrid practice appears to have been premature.

Now 13-2 as an NFL starter, Garoppolo has thrown for 1,162 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions so far this season. Coach Kyle Shanahan undoubtedly would like Garoppolo to clean up some of his mistakes -- like the head-scratching pick he threw in LA on Sunday -- but Garoppolo has performed adequately in the early going.

[RELATED: Kittle jokes about Jimmy G's looks before throttling Rams]

Garoppolo still has some rust to knock off after missing most of last season with a torn ACL, but the defense has proven more than capable of carrying the load.

The combination of Nick Bosa, DeForest Buckner, Arik Armstead and Dee Ford has proven too much for opposing quarterbacks to handle. Something Garoppolo for sure knows all about.

Garoppolo and Kittle are just glad they are on their side on Sundays.

Why 49ers' Jeff Wilson enjoyed celebrating game-winning TD vs. Cardinals

Why 49ers' Jeff Wilson enjoyed celebrating game-winning TD vs. Cardinals

Jeff Wilson has done a lot with a little bit of playing time this season.

The 49ers running back has scored five touchdowns in seven games in 2019, finding the end zone on 10 percent of the offensive snaps in which he has lined up. His latest TD was the winning one in San Francisco's 36-26 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday at Levi's Stadium.

It came on Wilson's lone offensive snap of the day, and he celebrated appropriately.

"It was just like all the pain I ever felt, all the mistakes I ever made, all the good times I ever had, just all that came out and went," Wilson told KNBR's "Papa & Lund" show Tuesday (H/T 49ers Webzone). "This game meant a lot to me. Obviously, just not playing the whole game, just to get one play, and then the play, you get in and score, and it's for a big moment for the game, it was just all so surreal to me."

[RELATED: How Packers, 49ers gave LaFleur bros 'win-win' situation]

The 49ers got by with a little help from their depth in Week 11, as backup tight end Ross Dwelley hauled in a pair of touchdowns in place of George Kittle and rookie wide receiver Deebo Samuel played on more offensive snaps than anyone else at a skill position. Kittle and running back Matt Breida returning likely would push Dwelley and Wilson, respectively, down the depth chart for San Francisco's Sunday night matchup with the 8-2 Green Bay Packers.

If Wilson manages to get another scoring opportunity, the 49ers know they can trust him to deliver in a big moment and be ready to celebrate.

Watch Kyle Shanahan tell 49ers they can 'get so much better' after win

Watch Kyle Shanahan tell 49ers they can 'get so much better' after win

The 49ers' 36-26 win over the Cardinals on Sunday left many of us out of breath -- especially head coach Kyle Shanahan. But that didn't stop him from giving a speech to his team.

Shanahan detailed what members of the squad did including those who got pretty beat up as one does during a game of that intensity.

But the team will only get better from here, he said.

"It's not even close," Shanahan added

And they'll need to.

[RELATED: Jimmy G lives up to challenge in Cards win]

San Francisco has a tough few games ahead of them starting with a Sunday matchup against the Green Bay Packers and then the Baltimore Ravens who have been the most exciting team in the NFL.

If they can continue to follow through as they did against the Cardinals with some absentee big names, amazing things can happen. But it won't be easy.