2011 San Francisco 49ers defense played to historical heights

2011 San Francisco 49ers defense played to historical heights

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The San Francisco 49ers had a memorable 2011 National Football League season. Not only did the storied franchise compile a 13-3 record, win the team’s first division title since 2002 and advance to the NFC Championship Game, but the 49ers defense carved a significant niche in the NFL’s record book. 

The San Francisco defensive unit became the first in NFL history to not allow a rushing TD through the first 14 games of a season. By year's end the 49ers defense had allowed only three rushing TDs all season, which ranked tops in the NFL. The team's three rushing TDs allowed are the fewest since the NFL went to a 16-game schedule in 1978 and the mark is tied for fifth best all-time.

The 49ers’ record-string of vault-like defense extended back to the 2010 season. Starting with the final week of the previous season, the 49ers defense did not allow a rushing TD in 15 consecutive games, which is the longest streak in franchise history. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the 15-game streak also is tied for most in the NFL since 1970.

To commemorate this incredible streak, members of the 49ers defensive unit signed a game ball used in the team’s Dec. 19 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers (the 15th game in the streak) and sent it to the Pro Football Hall of Fame for permanent preservation.

Rank Year Team Games
1T 2010-11 San Francisco 15
1T 1985-86 Chicago 15
3 1985-86 San Francisco 13
4 1985-86 Dallas 12
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