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Morning Tailgate: Bowman Steps Up

Posted Sep 30, 2013

Without Patrick Willis, Aldon Smith, Ian Williams and Nnamdi Asomugha, the 49ers defense stepped up in a big week last week against the St. Louis Rams.

Without Patrick Willis, Aldon Smith, Ian Williams and Nnamdi Asomugha, the 49ers defense stepped up in a big week last week against the St. Louis Rams.

All-Pro inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman led the way in a 35-11 win on the road.

Jim Harbaugh called the performance “very good team defense.”

READ: BOWMAN LIMITS ST. LOUIS PRODUCTION

With Willis sidelined Thursday night due to a groin injury, Bowman recorded his first multi-sack game in four seasons with the 49ers. In addition to his 2 sacks, Bowman added six tackles (three tackles-for-loss) and forced a Sam Bradford fumble early in the fourth quarter.

Bowman’s performance was a big key in the 49ers overcoming the loss of four key defensive contributors in a rivalry game.

“A huge piece of that is NaVorro Bowman,” Harbaugh said. “A huge piece of that is a well-coordinated plan by Vic Fangio and the defensive coaches.”

Bowman repeatedly blitzed up the middle of St. Louis’ offensive line and was able to win against one-on-one blocks. San Francisco's defensive linemen did a solid job of occupying offensive blockers, allowing Bowman to showcase his all-around defensive talents, pass-rushing included.

“If you talk to Vic and you talk to the defense coaches what they thought was the most impressive was just the way the guys played together as a unit,” Harbaugh said. “Good team defense.”

Willis’ status will be closely monitored this week with the Houston Texans coming into town for a Sunday night matchup.

More headlines on the 49ers and Texans can be found in today’s Morning Tailgate presented by State Farm.

Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle discussed Texans quarterback Matt Schaub’s recent costly interceptions.

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com looked at Eric Wright’s future with the 49ers.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee offered film review of the 49ers win.

Bill Williamson of ESPN.com examined Colin Kaepernick’s third-down production in St. Louis.


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