PITTSBURGH – Two weeks into the 2015 regular season and the San Francisco 49ers have truly generated mixed results.
After not allowing a touchdown in a 20-3 win over the upstart Minnesota Vikings, the 49ers dropped a lopsided affair to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 43-18, at Heinz Field on Sunday.
So after a pair of games, the jury is still very much out on what kind of team San Francisco will be this year. But according to NaVorro Bowman, we'll know a lot more about the character of the 49ers in Week 3 when they travel to Arizona to face the unbeaten Cardinals.
"My thing is I want to see how we respond to this," Bowman said. "This is the NFL, and we've taken losses before but it's how you respond, you know? We're a young team so that'll be the great challenge for us.
"We have an important game coming up in Arizona, so it's my job and the vets' job on this team to get the young guys ready and prepared."
Although Bowman was predictably frustrated by his team's performance versus the Steelers, the All-Pro linebacker told reporters that the game will be used as a teaching moment for the inexperienced players on the roster.
"I'd rather it happen now, early in the season, than later on down the road," Bowman said. "You know, we have a chance to bounce back from it, so I'm excited about that."
Despite being held to three points on offense in the first half and surrendering six touchdowns overall on defense, Bowman took solace in San Francisco's second-half effort. The 49ers outscored the Steelers, 15-14, after the break.
"I think we played hard, I think we kept playing, and I think we did what we could," Bowman said. "The ball just wasn't rolling for us today. It's a long season and we have a long road ahead of us."
Moving forward, Bowman's message to the team each week will be clear.
"Everyone is good," Bowman said. "You know Pittsburgh lost to New England last week and I was trying to put it in them to know that they weren't going to lay down and take 0-2.
"That's the lesson. Knowing that you have to come play every single week, knowing that the success and the celebration is over right after the game and you focus right up on the next opponent. I think we will do that this week."