49ers’ second-half defense steps up ‘when it counts,’ DeMeco Ryans believes

Ryans: 49ers’ second-half defense steps up ‘when it counts' originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The 49ers' defense put together two great performances when the team needed wins over the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers to keep themselves in the hunt to win the NFC West.

In the second half of its matchups against the Rams and Chargers, San Francisco's defense allowed 13 total points. As a result, 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans praised the unit's performance in crunch time during those two games.

"These past two weeks the guys just came out and just finished," Ryans told reporters Friday. "It's one thing we harp on, one thing we always want our guys to do is we've been good in games and spurts, but coming out in the second half spend times where we didn't finish and over the past two weeks, that's what the guys have done."

Furthermore, Ryans has challenged the 49ers' defense, saying that if the group wants to be considered one of the best in the NFL, they need to perform when it matters, such as in the second half of close games.

"Like, guys were just playing really good in the second half," Ryans added. "And that's when it counts. That's when you have to step up and close the game out.

"You want to be a great defense, you got to finish the game in the second half. And that's what has allowed us to win these games in these past two games because of just the effort, the mindset and the technique guys have finished with these past two weeks."

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After shutting down the offenses of both Los Angeles' football teams, the 49ers hope to make it three straight games of solid defense as they look to contain Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals on "Monday Night Football" at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.

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