It's not a stretch to say that the San Francisco 49ers defense has asserted themselves as the best in the business. In recent time, it's been the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens consistently reigning terror in the league, but San Francisco's stock has skyrocketed past them in that department.
San Francisco is younger, they hit harder, they get more takeaways, they're stiffer against the run and they are more sound tacklers. I also like the fact that they play a cleaner but meaner brand of football and make less mistakes overall.
I think what stands out to the general NFL fan population is the fact that all 11 starters can bring the wood, from the defensive line to the safeties.
It really says something about the organization and what they've accomplished when looking for that blue collar, do-it-all, smash mouth player that has no ego. It looks like a Hall of Fame defense in the making. And the players' individual resumes collectively provide evidence to support that theory.
But for the sake of this piece, I'd like to point out a few of the key players who really make this defense glow as a fierce, notoriously hard-hitting group of guys.