49ers vs. Cardinals: 4 worst performances from dismal loss

James Conner #6 of the Arizona Cardinals (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
James Conner #6 of the Arizona Cardinals (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Colt McCoy, Nick Bosa, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Colt McCoy (12) runs in front of San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (97) Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 2: The 49ers defense just wasn’t good

It’s easy to pick on certain guys, and we’ve already called out Josh Norman, so let’s just blame the whole defense.

The 49ers had a chance to flex their power on defense. They were up against Colt McCoy and a depleted Cardinals offense. No Kyler Murray. No DeAndre Hopkins. Running back Chase Edmonds left the game early with an ankle injury.

The script was written. Just failed to execute.

One of the most frustrating aspects of the Niners secondary is their coverage. They allow the receivers to have 5 yards of space to catch and make a move, which typically turns into a big gain.

Kyle Shanahan mentioned the lack of swarming to the ball. The Cardinals had lots of room to make moves and by the time a 49er was near the ball-carrier, he was already gone:

The 49ers gave up 274 yards through the air and 163 on the ground.

San Francisco’s run defense allowed James Conner to rush for 96 yards and two touchdowns, while he caught five passes for 77 yards and a touchdown.

Arizona was able to control the clock with five drives lasting longer than three minutes. It helped it was able to capitalize on seven third downs and went 1-of-2 on fourth downs. Plus, the Cardinals didn’t turn the ball over on offense.

It hasn’t been the best start to new defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans’ tenure, and if he doesn’t get things turned around quickly, he could be the scapegoat come January.