Sunday's game certainly offered more than its share of disappointment, but Buffalo's defense certainly had no reason to be down on themselves. Leading that unit Sunday were two veteran defensive ends who put up solid numbers and rejuvenated a pass rush that needed a shot in the arm.
Ryan Denney and Chris Kelsay combined for three sacks and three quarterback hits as they effectively harassed San Francisco quarterback Shaun Hill throughout the afternoon. But Denney was quick to spread the credit across the defensive front.
"To be honest it was the overall push of the defensive line," said Denney. "I think on all of the sacks we had it was a combination of pressure on one side and someone getting open on the other side to get to the quarterback."
Denney's head coach agreed with his assessment.
"They did play good games, but they weren't alone," said Dick Jauron of Denney and Kelsay. "They played hard and they played pretty well."
The Bills defensive linemen hope Sunday is the start of a streak of effective pass rushing with the all important division games coming up in the final quarter of the season.
"They say they come in bunches sometimes," said Denney. "Obviously we haven't had the sack numbers we've wanted. We still put pressure on the quarterback, but obviously the last few weeks we've done a better job of that."
The two ends also led the team in tackles as Kelsay had seven and Denney contributed six. Four of their tackles went for loss in the game. The Bills had seven tackles for loss in all as they held Frank Gore to 2.8 yards per rush despite the fact that he had a busy day with 24 carries.
"We held him to fewer yards than any other back this season, so we're happy with that," said Denney. "But we still left a few plays out there so there's still some work to be done."
Naturally Denney and Kelsay did not get much satisfaction from their performance in light of the loss, but their head coach still gave them credit for the job they did on defense.
"Really overall our defense played a good football game," said head coach Dick Jauron. "To only give up 10 points, three of them ended up being field position points, that's a strong game in the NFL. To allow less than 200 yards of total offense that's a good performance."