Shanahan: 49ers' ‘self-inflicted' penalties affected defense


The 49ers' defense had the weight of the world on its shoulders during the NFC Championship Game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. 

While the final score, 31-7, might show Philadelphia's offense dominating San Francisco's defense, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan didn't see the game that way.

"I didn't think they were off-kilter from the jump," Shanahan told reporters postgame. "I think they're going against a pretty good team. I know they gave up seven on the first drive, but [I] felt like they shut them down for, like, the next three series. We felt like we had momentum, had some good stuff going. 

"I think the penalties really got to our defense. I think a number of them were self-inflicted, that we got to do better on a few of them. You know, I'll see how it is when I [see] the tape, but that's what got them going and going against one of the best offenses in the league and can't make those mistakes."

Additionally, Shanahan noted the circumstances the 49ers' defense faced resulted in the lopsided score. 

After rookie quarterback Brock Purdy suffered an elbow injury on the 49ers' first possession of the game, the team leaned on backup signal-caller Josh Johnson. Johnson then exited the contest after taking a big hit on San Francisco's first drive after halftime.

As a result, the defensive unit had to play a perfect game, which didn't happen against the No. 1 seeded Eagles, and Philadelphia's offense eventually wore out the San Francisco defense. 

"Our defense held them to 14 [points] there in the first half with the two turnovers in offense," Shanahan continued. "And so the second turnover got them seven, and then they were out there pretty much alone in the second half. Only they had a team, team that our offense was just able to run the ball, and we weren't able to get some big ones.

"So they had a pretty uphill battle versus a good team, and I was really proud of those guys."

RELATED: What Haason Reddick thought as 49ers' Tyler Kroft blocked for Brock Purdy

The 49ers' defense did their all to keep the team in the game against the Eagles. But eventually, the odds became too much for Shanahan and Co. to overcome as the team now looks to the offseason.

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