After the 49ers leveled the Jacksonville Jaguars 34-3 at EverBank Stadium on Sunday to snap their three-game losing streak, San Francisco regained respect throughout the NFL.
Among those weary of the threat San Francisco poses are former All-Pro and Super Bowl champion Lavonte David, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker preparing to face the 49ers on Sunday at Levi's Stadium.
David appeared on CBS Sports’ “The Jim Rhome Show” with Jim Rhome, and explained what makes San Francisco the Buccaneers’ most difficult opponent this season, knowing Tampa Bay has already faced probable playoff teams like the Philadelphia Eagles and Detroit Lions.
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“[The 49ers] are probably going to be the most complete team we play all season,” David told Rhome. “They do what they do and they do it really well. They got a lot of movement on offense.
“They got two big, key guys back in Trent [Williams] and Deebo Samuel. Obviously, you got Christian McCaffrey, George Kittle and Brandon Aiyk. They still got [Kyle] Juszczyk. They have a complete team, man. We’re definitely going to have our hands full this week.”
The Buccaneers’ defense ranks 24th in yards allowed per game (354.1). However, Tampa Bay still ranks eighth in points allowed per game (19.2), meaning the defense often bends but rarely breaks.
San Francisco 49ers
Including San Franciso’s 0-3 stretch, the 49ers are averaging 383.3 yards and 28.0 points per game and will apply much pressure to the Buccaneers' defense, which was once a Super Bowl-caliber unit.
With the 49ers healthier and in higher spirits compared to past weeks, David understands why teams are cautious of San Francisco.
“When you’re playing a team like [the 49ers], who’s trying to beat you, outsmart you, it comes down to fundamentals and playing the game and using your technique,” David explained to Rhome. “Don’t try to do too much. Let the game come to you. That’s how [San Francisco] gets people, man. People going in different directions, people losing sight of what they’re supposed to be doing."
Heading into Sunday’s matinee, the 49ers look like the team that was 5-0 to begin the 2023 NFL season and again are atop rankings across the league.