The 49ers pulled out a 29-24 win over the Denver Broncos today, but we can all recognize that it was not a picture-perfect performance, particularly by the 49ers defense. The defense did settle down in the second half, but against Peyton Manning and the number ones, the defense looked fairly bland at times. The defense seemed to be content playing off the receivers, and they seemed pretty bland in terms of coming after Manning. They did get some heat at times, particularly when Parys Haralson planted Manning on his back. Otherwise, it was a fairly quiet affair.
After the game, there were a mix of comments, tweeted out by Eric Branch. Donte Whitner talked about how the 49ers did not really game-plan on defense while the Broncos did gameplan on offense. On the other hand, Ahmad Brooks and Jim Harbaugh were not pleased with the performance. Harbaugh described the play as spotty, while Brooks described it as "a scary start to this point."
I really think we're looking at a mix of issues. Some of this does come from very basic game-planning, while some of it also is poor tackling and poor fundamentals at time. However, I think for the purposes of last year's dominant defense, I would suspect there is a certain lackadaisical nature to the preseason. It does not make poor performances acceptable, but it is something to at least consider moving into the final week of the preseason. Hopefully any "boredom" evaporates by the time this team rolls into Lambeau Field!