49ers Defense: What Has Gone Wrong?

This year the 49ers defense was suppose to be vastly improved with free agent Justin Smith, rookie Kentwan Balmer and Manny Lawson coming back from injury. The 49ers defense was suppose to make progress on last years on NFC Defense Rookie of the Year and tackling freak Patrick Willis and playmaker Nate Clements. This year the 49er D is one of the worst in the league and they went eight straight games of giving up 29 or more points in which they only won one game. The 49ers D last year was ranked 25th in the NFL but that was more of attribute to the 49ers lack of offense and consistent three and outs. The 49ers offense is doing more of the same this year however the 49ers D has given up more points and more yards per game than last year. They cannot get the opposing teams offense off the field and given up too many deep passing plays. So what has gone wrong? For starters opponent’s offensive coordinators are taking out Willis on running plays by running right at him. Willis is best when he is running full speed to make a tackle. He cannot do that with teams running right at him, taking him out of the play. The 49ers lack of a pass rush this year, ranked 24th in sacks with 19, has also contributed to the big passing plays given up by the 49ers secondary. When the defensive line does not do its job the secondary needs to step up to make plays which has clearly not happened. Basically, the 49ers D have broken down in all aspects. In the one area of the team the 49ers thought they were making progress they now find themselves looking to booster their defense in the off-season when they badly need to be concentrating on the other side of the football.

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Tags: 49ers Defense Justin Smith Kentwan Balmer Manny Lawson Nate Clements Patrick Willis