Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports


Defensive consistency key for Beathard-led 49ers

Sep 29, 2018 at 6:38 PM


Though many expect C.J. Beathard to improve in his second year in Kyle Shanahan's system, it is generally accepted that a lot will need to go right for the San Francisco 49ers to have success with him at quarterback in the wake of Jimmy Garoppolo's season-ending ACL tear.

The Niners will need their running game to continue to perform at a level that has them second in the NFL in yards per game on the ground. Improved pass protection will be required from an offensive line that has made strides as a run-blocking unit but has already given up 13 sacks, and the Niners can ill-afford the drops that have hindered the offense in the opening three weeks.

However, the biggest boost Beathard could receive is some consistency from the defense, which has enjoyed at best mixed fortunes through three games.

The defensive numbers, for the most part, do not make for pretty reading. San Francisco ranks 26th in overall defense and is 25th in Football Outsiders DVOA on that side of the ball. The Niners are 27th in the NFL in passing yards per game and 29th in pass defense DVOA.

It is a different story against the run. The 49ers rank ninth in the league in rushing yardage given up and are eighth in run defense DVOA. The contrast in their play against the pass and the run is fitting for a defensive unit that has yet to string together a complete performance in 2018.

San Francisco's defense has impressed only in spurts. The Niners held Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings offense to 17 points in the opener in what has so far been the standout display by Robert Saleh's group. In Week 2, however, a performance that saw the Niners hold the Detroit Lions to 13 points through three quarters was not maintained as the defense almost surrendered a 17-point lead. The opposite happened last Sunday as the Chiefs put 35 points on the 49ers but just three in the entire second half as San Francisco threatened a comeback.

That kind of inconsistency speaks to the inexperience of a young defense with little history of finishing games. Yet, though this group has numerous issues in need of fixing, the talent is there for the defense to put together a complete performance.

The secondary appears to be a huge weakness, particularly with Richard Sherman expected to be out a couple of weeks with a calf injury, and missed tackles have also developed into a substantial problem. Still, between the outstanding level of depth on the interior defensive line and the partnership between Fred Warner and Reuben Foster at linebacker the 49ers have a potentially great front seven.

Flashes of such greatness have been intermittently apparent, but the prospect of the defense -- and specifically the front seven -- realizing its potential does not look to be on the horizon, making Beathard's task even tougher.

Until he proves otherwise, the assumption will be that Beathard does not have the ability to keep the Niners in shootouts as Garoppolo does. Every area of the team will need to step up for the 49ers to come out of the disappointment of losing Garoppolo with a competitive record. For the defense that has to mean finding consistency. Saleh's group was expected to make strides in 2018, instead its performances have been spotty at best. Now without a quarterback who seemed capable of keeping San Francisco in any game, the 49ers have to find a formula for a 60-minute defensive performance.
The views within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


0 Comments

  • No Comments

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



2019 49ers vs. 2021 49ers, Part 1 (Offense)

By Marc Adams
Jul 23, 2021

How well do the 2021 49ers stack up to the 2019 team? Lately I have listened to some podcasts and read some tweets comparing the current San Francisco 49ers team (2021) to the 2019 team that fell just short of winning the Super Bowl. I find the comparison interesting. And since many people quickly assume the 2021 49ers are not as good as the 2019 team, I wanted to take a look for myself. So as we prepare for the team to report on Tuesday, let's compare the two teams, position by position. For the purpose of this very scientific experiment, we will assume everyone is healthy (even though that never happens). Let's start on offense. The defensive comparison is coming soon. Offense Quarterback:



2019 49ers vs. 2021 49ers, Part 2 (Defense)

By Marc Adams
Jul 24, 2021

How well do the 2021 49ers stack up to the 2019 team? Yesterday, we took a look at the 2021 San Francisco 49ers offense to see how it compares to the team's offense from 2019. Some have said this year's team will be better than the 2019 team, while others have suggested that won't be the case. In our very scientific investigation, we determined the 2021 offense will be better than the 2019 offense. Today, we will take a look at the defenses. Interior Defensive Line Leading up to the 2020 draft, the 49ers traded away DeForest Buckner. They selected



Injuries a concern for 49ers in ESPN's offensive arsenals ranking

By David Bonilla
Jul 20, 2021

"San Francisco should be healthier on the whole in 2021, although it's impossible to project anybody on its roster to play all 17 games with any sort of confidence," wrote ESPN's Bill Barnwell in a recent feature for ESPN. The writer was tasked with ranking the NFL offensive weapons for all 32 NFL teams. Perched at the top of the list are the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. At the bottom, as is the case with most rankings, are the Houston Texans. The San Francisco 49ers dealt with a historic number of injuries last season. Not only was it the most in the league, but it was also the



Jets coach Robert Saleh shares what makes 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan so unique

By David Bonilla
Jul 20, 2021

When it came time for the New York Jets head coach to speak to his team following an early offseason practice, Robert Saleh stood there behind his players, waiting to hear what would be said. Then he remembered ... "Oh shoot, that's me," Saleh said to himself. The story is similar to San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan nearly forgetting to name team captains before his first preseason game. "Honestly, if someone hadn't asked me, I probably would have been sitting there looking out at the coin toss and wondering why no one was out there," Shanahan said on


Featured

More by Nicholas McGee

More Articles

Share 49ersWebzone