October 2 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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The 49ers defense has been pretty good so far this season. They have held their opponents for the most part, in control, and other than the atrocious run defense against the Broncos, have put up some pretty good performances. Against the Redskins in particular, the 49ers defense came out and was ready to play.
One of the biggest strides the defense has made has been in the pass rush. Andre Carter and Chike Okeafor have recorded six sacks so far this season. The pressure from the defensive ends have been a great aid to the defensive backfield, that since the first game, has held up quite well.
This week the 49ers will face the St. Louis Rams, and the Rams could be the biggest test for the defense yet. Even without Kurt Warner at quarterback, the Rams are still loaded with offensive talent. It begins with Marshall Faulk and extends to the plethora of receivers all of whom can turn the tides of the game very quickly.
The 49ers expect their pass rush to be a big factor in the game. They also canít wait to let Mike Rumph loose on the Rams receivers. They feel this combination and the speedy linebackers on their squad can neutralize the ever potent Rams offense. The defense has put the offense in a position to win all three games this season. The offense has to capitalize on the opportunities though, because the defense is not yet strong enough to win games for this team.