San Francisco 49ers’ Defense Was a Complete Mess


What the heck happened to the San Francisco 49ers‘ defense between weeks one and two? The answer is simple. They went from the mediocre Vikings to the great offense of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

In a way, Eric Mangini and the Niners made fools out of their fans. After the great performance against the Vikings, we thought NaVorro Bowman would turn the defense back into an intimidating force. However, the 49ers looked utterly helpless against Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown. Yes, this loss to the Steelers was only one game in a long season, but it doesn’t bode well for how well the Niners might do in a tough schedule. Of course there is hope for this 49ers team. We still have Bowman, but will he be enough to turn around their woes?

The Steelers thoroughly exploited the Niners’ defense in every phase of the game. Many people, including myself, thought it was a blessing that San Francisco would face the Steelers’ offense without Le’Veon Bell. Instead, Pittsburgh showed the 49ers and the entire NFL that they have the best number two running back in the league. Somehow, Mangini couldn’t figure out a way to contain DeAngelo Williams. The running back had a stellar day with three rushing touchdowns against a 49ers’ defense that didn’t allow a single TD in the previous week.

That’s some bad news for every other team the Steelers will play. The return of Bell means the Steel City will have the most high-powered offense in the NFL with Roethlisberger, Brown, Bell, Williams, and others. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could say something that great about the San Francisco 49ers?

For two teams that are both 1-1, they have quite different outlooks for the season. The Steelers play the Rams next week, and fans must be ecstatic for the return of Bell mixed with how great their offense looked against the Niners. On the other hand, 49ers’ fans have to spend this week thinking about how the defense lost basically every one-on-one matchup against the Steelers.

The first series of the games seemed decent when the Niners forced a punt, but we all know the rest of the story. The fact that the 49ers allowed 43 points is embarrassing, but the worst part is that they were already down 29-3 at halftime. That’s the definition of a trash defensive performance.

More from San Francisco 49ers

It was actually upsetting to see both the pass coverage and run defense completely fall apart. Just about every time Ben Roethlisberger threw a pass, a defensive back on the 49ers allowed big yards to a Pittsburgh receiver. Roethlisberger averaged 13.7 yards per completion. That is absolutely disgusting and embarrassing for the 49ers.

Mangini knew that Ben would target Antonio Brown all game. Therefore, why couldn’t he come up with a scheme to give the 49ers a chance at success? Brown had nine receptions for 195 yard, and that’s unacceptable. If the Niners want to have a winning season, Mangini and the defense better get their game together.

Next: NFC West Power Rankings: Week Two