Would he trade his defensive teammates for those of the Chicago Bears – who also tote one of the league’s other top units?
“Our defense? I wouldn’t trade our defense for nobody,” Crabtree said. “C’mon, man. (One of the) best defenses ever.”
After Monday night’s display, Crabtree may have a point.
Since the beginning of the Jim Harbaugh era in 2011, the Vic Fangio-led defense has put up some eye-popping numbers. The steamrolling unit raised the bar again on the national stage, allowing just 7 rushing yards to tie a single-game franchise mark set on Oct. 1, 1972 against New Orleans.
That’s four decades of 49ers history.
Tailback LeRod Stephens-Howling lifted Arizona from the red with an 11-yard carry on a 3rd-and-19 play late in the first half, giving him seven attempts for 6 yards to that point. But the Cardinals would abandon the run after halftime, calling just one rushing play in the final two quarters.
“It’s all 11,” hard-hitting safety
“All we have to do is continue to work hard, stay healthy and we’ll be where we want to be at the end of the season if we continue to do that.”
But no one had it worse than Arizona quarterback John Skelton, who was punished throughout the game and sacked four times.
“It’s really just a competition,” Aldon Smith said. “After saw (Brooks) get a sack I knew I had to make a play.”
“Hopefully we can follow it up,” Aldon Smith said.
If defense wins championships, the 49ers look they’re building towards another deep playoff run. For the fourth time in eight games, San Francisco held its opponent out of the end zone, matching its season total of four touchdown-free games from 2011. In all, the 49ers have given up nine touchdowns this year, tied with Chicago for the best mark in the NFL. They have only given up two touchdowns in the past five contests, and both came against the New York Giants in Week 6.
With 10 days between games, Fangio and his staff had extra time to scheme for the Cardinals. It paid off for the 49ers.
“It’s amazing how you can come into meetings on Tuesday, on Wednesday, on Thursday, on Friday and they steadily give you knowledge,” 49ers defensive captain
The secondary also showed up big time.
While Goldson and Whitner formed their typical, physical duo at safety, cornerback
“Today we were able to come out and play a great game defensively,” Willis said. “I know there’s some things we’d like to correct, but those guys across the board – d-line, linebackers and DBs – played their tail off.”