Loser: 49ers Linebackers
Generally speaking, Week 14 wasn’t a good day for the 49ers defense, which allowed the Saints to pick up 28 first downs and to go 4-of-4 in red-zone appearances.
But one of the bigger liabilities for San Francisco was at linebacker, which along with Marcell Harris, had its share of gaffes and mistakes in the game.
Linebacker Fred Warner had a key pass breakup, yes, but he wasn’t much of a factor in the tackling department, picking up just three and missing another key tackle on a touchdown play for Saints wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith late in the fourth quarter.
Warner might not have had his best game, true. But he wasn’t the biggest liability at this position. That unfortunate role falls upon the rookie, Azeez Al-Shaair, who was regularly out of position and just as instrumental as Harris in allowing some of the early New Orleans touchdowns in the first half.
Al-Shaair is starting only due to the season-ending injury suffered by Kwon Alexander, whose absence has been sorely felt by San Francisco over the past couple of weeks.