49ers Defense Struggles with Missed Tackles, Shanahan Concerned


“49ers Defense Struggles with Missed Tackles, Shanahan Concerned”


The 49ers are in first place in the NFC after Week 15. They host the Baltimore Ravens next Monday night and are in first place. Everything is breaking in the right direction for the Niners with three games left. But there was an issue that needed to be addressed during the 49ers’ three-game losing streak, and it reared its ugly head in the past three games. Against the Arizona Cardinals, the 49ers’ defense missed 16 tackles, per PFF. Nine different players missed the save. And it wasn’t just limited to the Cardinals game. In the previous two games, the defense missed 14 and 12 tackles. Those results directly resulted from either poor run defense, big plays, the results of opposing offenses, or all of the above. The lack of a starting defense contributed to the poor run defense. Kalia Davis suffered a severe ankle sprain during the game, adding pressure to a thin depth chart at defensive tackle. But Kyle Shanahan explained the reason for the missing devices from his perspective: “I definitely think it hurt. I think all the factors played into it. One, those guys out there. Two, a lot of plays they made, especially in the first half. The loss of Kalia during the game, which really tired the children in the end. Especially when they stayed on the field for a couple of thirds, especially the last two runs. I thought the biggest issue was missing equipment. They bounced off the pair. Then mostly just our trail corner in several plays, just running to the ball. We dug into some things and opened an operation that gave them big things. Usually when you give up those yards, you expect a lot of formula snaps and stuff, especially from a running back. So I thought it didn’t hurt us as bad as you expected, but we have to clean up all those spots and also try to get our depth back. Randy Gregory missed two tackles. T. Y. McGill played 29 snaps and lost three tackles. Dee Winters had 12 snaps and did not make a tackle. The main culprits were players falling down the list who tend to play sparingly or not at all. So to Shanahan’s last point, restoring the original depth chart would help. But that doesn’t excuse Fred Warner’s three missed tackles or Tashaun Gipson’s two. Both starting corners and Dre Greenlaw also missed a snap. It’s not the same as the three-game losing streak when the 49ers’ defense appeared to run out of steam. As Shanahan said, there were worse angles and unpleasant things like leaving legs on Sunday. The good news is that most of the problems are easy to fix for the 49ers. But it won’t get any easier next week against Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens.

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