SANTA CLARA -- Less than a week after their Monday night loss in overtime, it looked like another long day was ahead for the 49ers after they fell behind the Cardinals 16-0 early in the second quarter.
What happened instead was San Francisco's largest regular-season come-from-behind win since 2011. It wasn’t without mistakes. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo threw two interceptions and there were still a few dropped passes, but the team as a whole seemed to have a much shorter memory for their mistakes than they did just six days prior.
“I wouldn’t say that it was a huge emphasis but guys were locked in,” Garoppolo said. “I think that game against Seattle will do us good going forward, just being put in those tough situations.
“Things are going to go wrong in these games at some point. It’s just how you respond and I thought things weren’t going our way early but guys stayed focused and stayed locked in on the sideline and just went out and did their job.”
The 49ers were without tight end George Kittle, and receiver Emmanuel Sanders had limited snaps due to injuries. Deebo Samuel consequently became Garoppolo’s top target again, catching eight of his 10 targets for 134 yards.
The drops that the receivers had in the loss to the Seahawks were diminished by their preparation throughout the week.
“We put more emphasis in the receiver room that we are going to catch like one hundred to two hundred balls every day in practice,” Samuel said. “So we are more locked in, ready and prepared.”
Tight end Ross Dwelley, who stepped up in Kittle’s place, scored the first two touchdowns of his career. He pointed to Garoppolo as the catalyst for the team’s mental toughness on the field.
“It kind of goes back to Jimmy,” Dwelley said. “He is such a good leader. He just has that next-play mentality. That rubs off on everybody else.”
Kyle Shanahan had a slightly varied insistence over the course of the week. He asked the receivers to imagine their mistakes as opposed to their success, emphasizing how they would bounce back from adversity.
“We still had some drops,” Shanahan said. “What I liked was that the guys didn’t go into a shell over it. There were a couple drops in the game. I know Deebo missed that one early and came back and had one of his best games.
“Our guys, they stepped it up. I know they had a challenging week last week and I think they were one of the reasons we won today.”