49ers’ defense historically terrible in ugly shellacking by Chiefs

SANTA CLARA — There probably are at least a hundred adjectives that could be used to describe the 49ers’ defensive performance in the 44-23 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium in Week 7.

And not a single one of them is positive.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes completed 25-of-34 pass attempts for 423 passing yards, 3 touchdowns and an interception through the air. On the ground, Kansas City rushed for an additional 112 yards, accumulating 529 net yards of offense.

“Yeah it’s disappointing, we’re better than that,” coach Kyle Shanahan said of the 49ers’ defensive effort. “They had some pretty big plays where it seemed like there was a lot of space … that was disappointing, we’ re better than that.”

San Francisco’s defense not only was terrible, but historically terrible.

Kansas City converted on six of nine third-down attempts and almost all of them were big plays.

On a 3rd-and-1 pass in the first quarter, Mahomes completed a 27-yard pass to tight end Travis Kelce. Mahomes then completed a 15-yard pass to wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster on 3rd-and-2 in the third quarter, a 34-yard screen pass to Jerrick McKinnon on 3rd-and-20 in the third quarter, a 57-yard bomb to Marquez Valdes-Scantling on 3rd-and-11 in the fourth quarter and finally a 45-yard touchdown to Smith-Schuster on 3rd-and-6 in the fourth quarter.

In speaking to reporters after the game, linebacker Fred Warner explained what went wrong defensively for the 49ers.

“Just the combination of explosive plays, prolonging drives, self-inflicted wounds,” Warner said. “On our side, I feel like we really didn’t give ourselves a chance to win.”

“Our defense prides itself on eliminating explosive plays and that’s just what the game felt like. Explosive plays, one after another, just keeping drives going and them finding a way to get in the endzone.”

RELATED: Grading 49ers’ offense, defense in rough loss to Chiefs

The 49ers’ defense had played at an elite level for the first five weeks of the season before losing to the Atlanta Falcons in Week 6, a game in which they were without seven starters on defense. The loss was frustrating for San Francisco, but it was clear that the injuries had a monumental impact and that the loss did not properly reflect who they were as a defense.

San Francisco was much healthier on Sunday and it resulted in a shellacking very few 49ers defenses have ever experienced. The 49ers are in desperate need of a get-right game and ironically for them, they face off against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 8. Believe it or not, facing off against the defending Super Bowl champions is a welcomed matchup for this 49ers team based on the history between the division rivals.

How they respond against the Rams after back-to-back ugly losses will be very telling.







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