Kyle Shanahan Calls Out 49ers Defense After Bad Week 9 Loss To Cardinals

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan has called out his team's defense following their Week 9 loss.
San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan has called out his team's defense following their Week 9 loss. / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

Week 9 of the 2021 NFL season didn't bring success to the San Francisco 49ers. A 31-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday handed the 49ers their fifth loss in their last six games. Now, head coach Kyle Shanahan is calling out his team's defense.

San Francisco 49ers News

It was a winnable matchup for the 49ers, especially with NFL journeyman Colt McCoy starting under center for the injured Kyler Murray. The 35-year-old veteran finished the game with an 84.6% completion percentage for 249 yards and a touchdown.

Shanahan told reporters after the game that his team's defense "made it extremely easy" for McCoy to succeed.

"We didn’t stop the run and we didn’t stop those screens, which when you’re giving up some explosive screens and all that free yardage, it didn’t matter who was playing quarterback."

Kyle Shanahan

In total, San Francisco gave up 437 total yards to Arizona. While McCoy did his fair share of damage, Cardinals running back James Conner also gave the 49ers a headache. He finished with 173 total yards from scrimmage, scoring three touchdowns as well.

San Francisco had one of the best defenses in the league when they made it to the Super Bowl two seasons ago, giving up just 19.5 points per game (7th). Injuries caused that number to rise to 24.4 PPG (17th) during an injury-plagued 2020 campaign.

Things were supposed to get better this season with a healthier roster, however, that hasn't been the case. The 49ers are allowing 25.2 PPG after eight games in 2021 — the eighth-worst average.

Shanahan and the 49ers will be in for another tough test when they face the Los Angeles Rams in Week 10's Monday Night Football matchup.

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Devon Platana is not a FanDuel employee. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.