49ers game grades from deflating Week 9 loss to Cardinals
By Peter Panacy
There’s plenty of blame to go around for what the 49ers did and didn’t do against the Cardinals.
But a good chunk of it, perhaps most of it falls upon Kyle Shanahan and DeMeco Ryans.
Sure, Ryans is playing with a makeshift secondary, including two veteran castoffs at cornerback, Josh Norman and Dre Kirkpatrick, and two reserve safeties in Talanoa Hufanga and Tavon Wilson. Yet seeing just how out of position many of the Niners defenders were on a good number of Arizona’s chunk gains is awfully troubling.
So is the lack of tackling, which was glaringly apparent during the loss.
Yet Shanahan, from questionable clock management and a general lack of urgency in the second half, to odd personnel decisions on game day, deserves even more blame than Ryans, as our friends over at Niners Nation pointed out in stunningly blunt style:
"I had a big issue with kicking an extra point to make it a 17-point game. If you go for two, it’s a two-possession game. So the odds that you have three possessions to come back and win at this juncture in the game were slim to none. … The defense allowed a first down, which was the one thing they couldn’t do. That allowed Arizona to continue to chew up the clock. A second third down on the drive put a nail in the 49ers’ comeback coffin. This game is on Shanahan. I understand the 49ers have injuries. That’s not an excuse if you look at the other team. The 49ers came out flat in both halves and made mistake after mistake. They had an opportunity to leap into the final wild-card spot. Instead, they laid an egg."
Shanahan flopped in Week 9. There’s no other way around it. And it’s concerning to note even he doesn’t appear to have an answer, which is what he and many other players admitted during postgame press conferences.
That’s never a good thing.