LAS VEGAS — Chase Young was front and center in the viral video clip that showed an obvious lack of effort by the 49ers' defense in their NFC Championship Game win.
Young, who spoke to NBC Sports Bay Area during Opening Night for Super Bowl LVIII on Monday, joined several of his defensive counterparts in taking accountability for not giving 100 percent against the Detroit Lions.
“We know we have to do better,” Young said. “We have to do more. We can’t have that, I can’t have that. Everyone on the team knows we can’t have that, and we are going to do our best to make sure that never happens again.”
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In the second quarter of the game, Lions running back Jahmyr Gibbs ran past several 49ers defenders for a 15-yard touchdown, stretching Detroit's lead to 14 points. While many players lunged at the ball carrier, including Young, Gibbs was barely touched as he crossed the goal line into the end zone.
Coach Kyle Shanahan, general manager John Lynch and defensive coordinator Steve Wilks were among several members of the 49ers organization to call out the unacceptable, lack-luster performance.
While no one named Young specifically, the Ohio State product understands the repercussions of a lack of effort in the biggest game of the season. The edge rusher shared that he took the criticism personally.
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“Yeah, definitely,” Young said. “We definitely can’t have that on the field. Especially when you want to be a top defense in this league.”
The 49ers will need their entire roster to put forth a full effort to leave Las Vegas with a Super Bowl win. That includes Young and the defensive line attempting to contain Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and make his offense one dimensional.
After playing from behind in both the divisional round playoff and the NFC Championship, San Francisco came back with thrilling finishes to advance to Super Bowl LVIII. Young believes the 49ers cannot get behind like that when facing Mahomes and All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce.
Battling back in their two playoff wins, however, taught the 49ers valuable lessons.
“Definitely knowing that if we get in a tight spot, that we can buckle down and get it done,” Young said. “But these are the types of games where you can’t get down like that. It’s our job to start fast and do our job from the start.”