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Why the 49ers Keep Winning

The 49ers are 11-3 when they force at least one turnover, and they're 1-4 when they force none.

There's a reason the 49ers keep winning games, and it's not their offense.

The offense has put together good moments here and there, but mostly hasn't played well in the playoffs. The receivers have dropped passes, and the quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, has thrown interceptions. And so, through two playoff games, the 49ers offense has scored two touchdowns, committed two turnovers, posted a quarterback rating 63 and averaged a measly 4.8 yards per play. 

Which means the 49ers offense has fallen off a cliff in the postseason.

Meanwhile, the defense has maintained its elite level of play and carried the team to its past two postseason victories. The defense is the star of this team, even if the people who get most of the attention are Garoppolo, Kyle Shanahan, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle and Trent Williams.

It's the defense that made Aaron Rodgers look like an old has-been this past weekend, and it's the defense that made Dak Prescott look like a complete fraud the week before.

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It's the defense that turned the 49ers season around. After Week 9, when the 49ers were 3-5, their defense had forced just five turnovers. Five is an extremely low number of takeaways for essentially half a season. But since Week 10, the 49ers have forced a whopping 17 turnovers, and that's why they keep winning.

The 49ers are 11-3 when they force at least one turnover, and they're 1-4 when they force none. So the defense pretty much has to take the ball away from the opponent for the 49ers to win. They know this. And to their credit, they've forced one turnover in 10 of their past 11 games. The one time they didn't force a turnover, they lost to the Titans.

The 49ers' starting quarterback is a mistake waiting to happen -- Garoppolo has 52 turnovers in 52 career starts. His weekly turnover easily can lose games for the 49ers.

Unless their defense offsets Garoppolo's mistakes and takes the ball away from the opposing team consistently. And that's exactly what the 49ers defense has done the past few months.

Give credit where it's due.