Shocking stats show how 49ers' second-half defense stifled Chargers

Shocking stats show how 49ers' D stifled Chargers in second half originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers' defense dominated the Los Angeles Chargers in the second half of their 22-16 win at Levi’s Stadium, and the stats paint a startling picture.

Breaking up the statistics into each half shows how much the 49ers adjusted after halftime. Following the game, coach Kyle Shanahan shared that the defense didn’t make any schematic changes but just played cleaner football.

“Just them getting off the field,” Shanahan said. ”They had a couple mistakes in the first half, got them going a little bit, but the second half, just like two weeks ago in our last game, the defense hunkered down, it didn't seem like they made any mistakes and especially there at the end, the way to finish it, their last two drives were great.”

The 49ers' defense allowed 238 total yards, but only 52 of those came in the second half -- or less than 20 percent.

The Chargers only gained 17 yards rushing and quarterback Justin Herbert connected on only seven passes for 35 yards after halftime.

The 49ers' defense also only allowed three first downs by the Chargers in the second half after allowing nine before halftime.

Nick Bosa echoed Shanahan's statement that defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans didn’t make any drastic adjustments, and the team just played more efficiently than in the first half.  
“I'll have to look at the tape, honestly,” Bosa said Sunday night. “I think maybe there were some plays where we could have gotten more pressure, for sure. We'd let Herbert sit back there and find some guys and whenever somebody's open he's going to get it there. He is a really good player, but yeah, I think we just stuck with it.”

Talanoa Hufanga’s interception of Herbert’s pass intended for Joshua Palmer sealed the game in the final minute of regulation. The second-year safety knows that the group needs to start out games with the same intention they finished with Sunday night.

“We just have to continue to shut them out in the beginning, too,” Hufanga said after the game.  “The whole goal is if you can hold an offense to zero points, you have a good chance to win the game. I gave up a touchdown today and just have to continue to play better.”

What might make the 49ers' performance even more impressive is that they managed the second-half shutout without the help of Dre Greenlaw. The linebacker was disqualified from playing in the remainder of the game after a head-to-head hit of Herbert prior to halftime.

Fred Warner was frustrated by the loss of Greenlaw in the second half but was proud of the group for locking in and delivering a much better second-half performance. 
“We just had to settle in,” Warner said. "DeMeco made some great adjustments. I’m not going to tell you guys too much because we still have to play Arizona. We might have to make adjustments with them too. All the credit to DeMeco.  
“We just kept it simple. We literally just ran one call, I feel like, the entire second half. When we got to third down, we would dial it up with some pressures, but first and second down we literally just ran the same thing over and over. Just kept it real simple.”

RELATED: Jimmy G shares halftime message to 49ers in win over Chargers

The 49ers have another tough task ahead in the Arizona Cardinals, who they will meet in Week 11 on Monday night in Mexico City.

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