The San Francisco 49ers are 3-0 to open the season. The team returned home to Levi's® Stadium and overcame five turnovers to defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers, 24-20. Here's what both locker rooms had to say following the matchup.
Kyle Shanahan's overall thoughts on the victory:
"Very happy. I'm exhausted. I thought we played extremely well at some times and played extremely bad at some times. Anytime you have five turnovers in a game, that means you didn't play that well. But, you take those away, and every aspect of the game decides that. I thought the guys did very well. It reminded me a lot of the Arizona game we had last year, we had a game versus Arizona where it was like 30 first downs to 10, and like 500 yards to 200, but we ended up losing the game because we had all those turnovers. Today was very similar, so it looked like we were going down that same (road), but the defense, they stepped it up big. Just getting the ball, those two turnovers to start. I think they both were in the red zone, or backed up. Pittsburgh was already in the red zone when they got it, held them to two field goals. Offense got going in the second half, but then we got that fumble down there in the red zone to end, before the defense got the ball right back. It was huge."
Shanahan on Dante Pettis' game-winning touchdown:
"It was nice. I didn't get to see it all clean. I know it didn't come out right away. We tried to hurry up and snap it really quick. I know we had a guy in the flat and Dante running a stick route right on the goal line. It looked like he beat the guy on the inside and, from what I saw, I think the corner tried to fall back in and Dante just stepping back to it, from what I saw, was huge. Because it's not like it was a play that got him wide open or anything. He ran a real good route, but they had two guys fall back in and just to have the aggressive hands like that in that situation was, looked like that's why we scored."
Shanahan on Jimmy Garoppolo's Week 3 performance:
"I thought Jimmy played well. He was put in some tough situations with all the turnovers. I think he had two picks, but they seemed like pretty good throws. Just went off those guys hands a little bit. But they came after us. It was very similar to Tampa and anytime somebody does that, there's a lot of feast or famine. So, it's going to be tight every time. He hung in there, took some big hits, made some big throws and when we did give him the time, he didn't miss much."
QB Jimmy Garoppolo on what he saw on the touchdown pass to Pettis:
"Dante ran a great route, came out of the huddle with some speed. I think they were a little confused with their adjustments and Dante made a great step back to the ball, caught it, got into the end zone. It was awesome."
Garoppolo on if it's accurate that he likes to take hits:
"I don't know. I'm a football player. It's part of the game. You just take it as you go, I guess."
Garoppolo on the offense's confidence in the 49ers defense late in the game:
"Those guys up front that we've got, they're some dogs and they get after the quarterback and they make it hard for them back there. When we got that lead, we felt pretty good about it."
LB Kwon Alexander on the mood on the sidelines when the offense commits a turnover:
"Did you see us when we were out there on the field? It doesn't matter. No, that's our mindset. Wherever we're at on the field, we're going to do our thing. It doesn't matter if we're on the two-yard line, or if the ball's put on the two-yard line. It doesn't matter. We're going to go out there and just play hard and finish the game."
DL DeForest Buckner on learning how to win with five turnovers and if that helps with the team's overall confidence:
"Yeah, we know as a group we can be so much better. Defensive-wise, obviously, we let a couple slip. We know we can do better on that on all phases. Offensively, obviously, we had five turnovers. It's just the little things. It's executing and just taking care of the ball and getting the ball on defense. I felt like we could've gotten a couple more today, and we missed those opportunities. We've just got to go back, watch film and see what we can get better on."
FB Kyle Juszczyk on the team finding ways to win:
"I feel like this team is resilient, there is confidence in ourselves. Even when things are going bad, we know that we can turn things around. I am so impressed with our defense, I think that our defense is so legit and we can play with anybody. On offense we just have to clean up the turnovers. There are two ways to look at this game. You can focus on the negatives and on all of the turnovers but at the same time you can look at the positives like wow we had all of those turnovers and we still won this game. Think about if we clean those up."
WR Dante Pettis on his touchdown catch:
"We got the ball back from the fumble recovery, so we knew that we had a really good chance to at least tie it. We got a few good plays going and ended up down at the goal line and they called the play. I was like okay here it goes, this is it.
"Let's go. This is what we work for. If you don't want to be in that moment, if you don't want the ball right there, you shouldn't be playing sports. That is kind of what you live for."
CB Richard Sherman on the energy following a turnover:
"One thing we pride ourselves on is being the same, regardless, good, bad or indifferent. You have to approach the game the same way. It was probably more enthusiastic when we got the turnovers than it was when we didn't. Like when our offense gave up a turnover and put us in a hard spot, we took it as Murphy's Law. We took it as Murphy's Law, and you want to slap Murphy in the face, and we did that today. We took Murphy's Law- everything that can go wrong, will go wrong. You take it with a smile, and you go out there and persevere, and that's what we did today as a defense. That's what our offense did and that's what our special teams did today. That's what we did as a full team."
OL Justin Skule on his performance in his first-career start:
"A lot of stuff to fix. Can't have those penalties, those were costly penalties at pretty bad times. I had a couple of good things, but I am going to learn from it all from the tape and move on."
Head coach Mike Tomlin on the Steelers loss to the 49ers:
"You know, we lost the game today and we did, we lost the game on not enough play making. Specifically in the second half I thought significant components of the game, in terms of how it unfolded, is we turned the ball over twice and on both occasions we gave up touchdowns. First of all, we've got to do a good job of taking care of the ball. We know that. Particularly, in the state that we're in from a health standpoint, we didn't do it. And then subsequently, we have to support the offense and get off at least some of the time, you know? We turned the ball over twice. They scored two touchdowns in the second half and really that's the difference in the game. In the first half, we were getting turnovers and we were settling for field goals. So, there's the, you know, that's the storyline of the game, if you will. Such is life in the National Football League. We take responsibility for it. We own it. Not good enough today. We won't blink."
Tomlin on the Steelers not being able to finish the game:
"Like I outlined, we got turnovers in the first half, we settled for field goals. They got turnovers in the second half and scored touchdowns. So, thus the outcome. When you get them down you've got to work in concert as a football team, you know? And, they worked in better concert than we did. When we put their defense on the short field in the first half, they made us settle for three. When our defense was on the short field in the second half, they got touchdowns. And so, it's all of us collectively, that's football teams. We didn't do enough today to win it. We didn't work in concert to accentuate the positives. We didn't work in concert well enough to minimize the negative."
QB Mason Rudolph on not being able to capitalize on the 49ers five turnovers:
"That game is on us. We had so many opportunities with turnovers in the first half and the momentum swing with the defense. We have to put more points on the board."
Rudolph on what he said to RB James Connor after the fumble:
"I made plenty of mistakes all day. No one is pointing the finger in this offense. We love each other, and we're going to rally together. We still had a chance. I said, 'Let's stay positive because we have another chance to get the ball back and go score. You're going to run the game-winning touchdown.' We always stay positive and play the next play quickly."
OL David DeCastro on what changed in the second half:
"It was their guys just making plays throwing and catching. It was simple stuff. Our defense gave us great opportunities and we just threw it by the wayside."