Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports


Robert Saleh Fails 49ers in the Biggest Spot

Gilbert Brink
Dec 8, 2020 at 7:02 AM


What a complete and utter disaster. 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh is one of the hottest candidates for a head coaching gig in 2021, but last night Saleh turned in a red-flag performance. The Buffalo Bills are a very good football team, much better than these 49ers. That being said, Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll eviscerated Saleh's defense on nearly every play he called.

The score was 34-24, yet the 49ers never had a chance. Bills QB Josh Allen was unstoppable, and the 49ers only hung around due to a few Buffalo hiccups. To understand how poorly Saleh coached, take a look at how the 49ers faired on 1st down alone. On 31 1st down plays (excluding FGs and kneel-downs), the 49ers surrendered 197 yards and 2 TDs. Those numbers alone would be a good stat-line for most QBs. The Bills gashed the 49ers regularly for large gains on 1st down, allowing 6.3 yard per play and enabling OC Brian Daboll to have 2 downs to often get 2-3 yards. Saleh coached a stubborn game. It didn't take long for anybody to notice that sending 4 rushers to pressure Allen was not going to get the job done. Saleh didn't get the memo. Allen weaved his way through the front 4 to continuously find receivers down the field. If there is one clear knock on Josh Allen, it's his propensity to at times play chaotic and make mistakes. It's hard to understand how Saleh didn't see that on film, and look to apply pressure in hopes of generating turnovers like the 49ers did last week vs. LA. This, by far, was the most frustrating part of this loss to digest.

The defensive failure wasn't solely on Robert Saleh. The 49ers secondary, one that has been impressive in 2020, turned in a poor performance from nearly every member of the unit. S Tarvarious Moore looked confused, CB Richard Sherman looked old, and CB Jason Verrett was abused by Bills WR Stefon Diggs early and often. The 49ers will have a lot of decisions to make in free-agency in 2021, specifically in the secondary, where the majority of that unit will be free to sign elsewhere. Choosing the CBs to keep from the 4 (slot CB K'Waun Williams, CB Richard Sherman, CB Jason Verrett, and CB Emmanuel Moseley) scheduled for free agency will be a tough decision that has major implications for the future of the 49ers defense. Against the Bills, none of these players made a strong case for a hefty investment.

Robert Saleh and the 49ers cannot hang their heads low for long. Facing a short week, and a surging opponent in the Washington Football Team, the 49ers face an absolute must-win game. Lucky for them, Washington QB Alex Smith will never be mistaken for Bills QB Josh Allen. Washington wins with a stout defense (4th in the NFL in yards allowed per game), so don't expect QB Nick Mullens to save the 49ers' season here. Saleh will have to return to form against a WFT offense that ranks 26th in the league. Be cautious of the numbers, though. Since former 49er Alex Smith took over at QB, the WFT has been much improved on offense and just defeated the previously undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers. It's now or never for the 49ers, and Robert Saleh will be standing at center stage.
The opinions 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



49ers sign DT Robert Nkemdiche to one-year deal

By David Bonilla
Jul 26

General manager John Lynch announced that the San Francisco 49ers have signed defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche (KIM-dee-chee), a former first-round draft pick, to a one-year deal. He was one of three defensive linemen who worked out for the team on Monday. It was reported last week that the team was signing Nkemdiche, but Lynch insists the decision didn't come until this week. "I know it was reported last week, but that person must have been Nostradamus because we had a workout," Lynch said. "We had not decided. There were three guys here working out. He did shine in the workout, so he'll be a part of us moving forward. We're excited about that." The Arizona Cardinals drafted Nkemdiche (6-3, 296) out of Ole Miss with the No. 29 overall pick in 2016.



49ers Notebook: Trey Lance assesses first two practices; Ryans praises Lance, Nick Bosa; Richard Sherman predicts 49ers DBs will be 'among the best'

By Kirk Larrabee
Jul 28

Following the 49ers' practice session on Thursday, quarterback Trey Lance spoke publicly for the first time since June while defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans chatted with reporters about what he's seen so far from his side of the ball -- and from the quarterback his defense has been facing. Lance spoke on a number of topics, including what he thought of his first two days of training camp as the team's starter. Ryans offered his views of Lance, as well as what he's seen from some of the key players in the secondary and on the defensive line. Plus, there was an interesting Twitter quote Thursday from former 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman, who expects to see big things from his former defensive teammates this season. Here's a run-down of all of



49ers RedZone Podcast: Breaking down the 1st Week of 49ers Training Camp

By Rohan Chakravarthi
Jul 31

Co-hosts Rohan Chakravarthi and Marco Martinez rejoice after the first week of 49ers Training Camp, breaking down everything that Rohan saw and Marco heard, as well as the recent news surrounding Deebo Samuel and his contract extension. The audio for the show is embedded above, while the video is available



Fred Warner on 49ers DC DeMeco Ryans: "I know what greatness looks like"

By Rohan Chakravarthi
Jul 25

In 2021, the San Francisco 49ers had one of the best defenses in the NFL, ranking third in yards allowed per game, fifth in yards per carry, fifth in sacks, and seventh in defensive DVOA, according to Football Outsiders. Linebacker Fred Warner echoed that sentiment last week on the Rich Eisen Show, believing that the 49ers' defense will get better in 2022, based on who they returned to the team and the added fire stemming from their loss in the NFC Championship Game in 2021. "The expectation is to be the best always, to be the No. 1 defense. Last season, I feel like we had a really good year. I don't know what we finished in the rankings for overall defense, but I know we were at the top. I know that, given what we did last year, and who we're bringing


Featured

More by Gilbert Brink

More Articles

Share 49ersWebzone