As of late, ask any average Joe football fan about the 49ers and they’ll likely tell you two things: We have a good running game and our defensive is pretty good. There I go again, using “we” when referring to the 49ers, but whatever.
Anyway, these two pillars of strength seem to be our last line of defense as we have to endure the onslaught of verbal abuses hurled at our once-great-but-now-an-insignificant team.
Alex Smith is a joke, the Yorks are a joke, our stadium is falling apart, we have fair-weather-wine-and-cheese-at-a-tailgate-bringing fans and we’re in the weakest division in football.
Yes, as these insults are slung in our direction we quickly fight back, claiming our defense is good, Patrick Willis is a beast and we have a good running game. Unfortunately, only one of the aforementioned statements is true.
Yes, our run defense is good and this is important. To have a good run defense is nothing to scoff at, and watching teams rip of six-yard runs at will against your team is one of the most frustrating things there is.
But this is only half of the issue.
While our run defense is really good, our pass defense is in serious trouble.
There are two main reasons for this: Our pass rush is insufficient and our secondary needs help. Defensively, this is what has been keeping us in the bad/mediocre range. I know our “three and out” offense doesn’t help, but that’s another issue; I want to focus on defense.
I’d like to talk about a few key games which our pass defense and lack of rush were really exposed. At the very least, these games should serve to raise some eyebrows and some questions as to the effectiveness of our so called tenacious “D.”
Let’s Break it down: