The 49ers' defense came up big when it mattered most in Sunday's win.
Beating the Atlanta Falcons 31-13 at Levi's Stadium in Week 15, the 49ers' defense fueled an impressive, all-around win for San Francisco.
After 49ers running back JaMycal Hasty fumbled the opening kickoff to begin Sunday's contest, the Falcons began their first drive of the game immediately inside the red-zone. An impressive goal-line stand from the 49ers' defense resulted in a turnover on downs and an early defensive statement from a group that was without a few key players.
For the remainder of the game, the Falcons offense continued to struggle, especially in the red-zone.
Forcing three total turnovers on downs, two punts, recording three sacks and recovering a forced fumble, the 49ers' defense was stellar from start to finish.
Even with a depleted secondary, pressure up-front from pass rushers Nick Bosa, Arden Key and Samson Ebukam helped offset any vulnerability at the cornerback position.
The 49ers' defense appears to be hitting their stride in the second half of the season and it could not have come at a better time.