The San Francisco 49ers’ defense got carved up by backup quarterback Colt McCoy and an offense without Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green and starting running back Chase Edmonds, who left early in the first quarter. Despite not facing several key starters, the Niners allowed 31 points and 437 yards to the Cardinals.
The latest defensive letdown has brought the heat on first-time coordinator DeMeco Ryans, who took over for Robert Saleh.
Star linebacker Fred Warner, however, is defending the DC, who had spent the previous three seasons as the Niners’ inside linebackers coach. Warner said this week it’s on the players to make plays, not the coach standing on the sideline.
“DeMeco is doing an amazing job,” Warner said on KNBR. “He’s doing outstanding. He makes sure we’re as prepared as possible every week. I know since he’s the head of the defense, he’s going to take a lot of the (blame) outside of the building.
“On defense as players, we know that it’s on us. It’s upon us to go out and execute the game plan that he’s set forth for us. He’s done, like I said, an incredible job, especially in his first year. The type of style and the flair he’s brought to the defense. Obviously I’ve got a really close relationship with him, with him being my linebacker coach my first three years. He’s been the exact same person ever since becoming the defensive coordinator.
“I’m going to take responsibility for getting guys right to right this ship.”
The 49ers are allowing 25.3 points per game this season and have given up 30-plus points in four of eight games played — only the Texans have allowed more 30-point games this season, with five. The 49ers are also 0-4 at home this season, allowing 29.8 PPG in those contests (second-most in NFL) — only the winless Lions (34.5 PPG) have allowed more PPG at home this season.
San Francisco allows more PPG (25.3) and is averaging fewer takeaways per game (0.6) than in either of the last two seasons; the 2020 Niners allowed 24.4 PPG, had 1.3 takeaways/game and finished 6-10, while San Francisco gave up 19.4 PPG and had 1.7 takeaways/game in 2019 before losing in Super Bowl LIV.
The Week 10 Monday night matchup against the Los Angeles Rams will make life no easier on Warner, Ryans and the struggling Niners’ defense.
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