Programming note: Watch Jim Harbaugh's Wednesday press conference this afternoon at 12:10 p.m., streaming live right here.
Antoine Bethea’s 100th consecutive NFL start was a memorable one.
Bethea on Wednesday was named NFC Defensive Player of Week for his performance in the 49ers’ 26-21 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.
Bethea has been chosen to the Pro Bowl twice in his career, but this is his first Player of the Week award.
Bethea had a forced fumble, an interception and also provided key pressure on Eagles quarterback Nick Foles on a third-down blitz that played a big role on the 49ers’ game-saving goal-line stand.
On the previous play, Bethea made the tackle on running back LeSean McCoy to stop him at the 1-yard line.
Bethea sustained an ankle sprain late in practice late last week and was listed as questionable for the game. He said there was never a doubt his streak of durability would end.
“It was important to me,” said Bethea, who played his first eight seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. “That’s something I hold close, dear to my heart. Just being reliable, being able to have my coaches and teammates to rely on me week-in and week-out. That’s something I’ve really held onto my career so far.”
The 49ers signed Bethea within the first few minutes of the free-agent signing period in March to replace Donte Whitner, who signed a lucrative contract with the Cleveland Browns.
Bethea came through with some of the key plays in a defensive effort that kept the previously unbeaten Eagles out of the end zone on Sunday and snapped the 49ers’ two-game losing streak.
“Of course, it’s going to make us feel good coming off two tough losses,” Bethea said. “But at the end of the day, it’s still one game. We’re 2-2. We got 12 games left. Great teams are able to stack wins on top of each other, and that’s what we need to do.
"Don’t get me wrong, this win feels great. We break this two-game losing streak. But we got to continue to work and continue to get better.”