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49ers run defense facing pressure to perform in Week 2

The 49ers run defense struggled in Week 1. They do not get a respite as Matt Forte comes to town.

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Rather than look at a single player under the gun, I think it is fair to say the 49ers run defense is under pressure to perform on Sunday against the Chicago Bears. The 49ers got the win against the Dallas Cowboys, and the game was not really as close as the 28-17 final score would indicate. However, the 49ers had some trouble against the run, giving up 118 yards to DeMarco Murray, how averaged 5.4 yards per carry.

There was a sizable chunk of the game that might as well have been garbage time, but even still, it seemed like the defense was not as sound as they could have been. DeMarco Murray is a very good running back, but the 49ers will face plenty such running backs in the coming weeks. Vic Fangio discussed the run defense earlier this week:

"It wasn't good last week. We did not have a good game up front versus the run and rushing the passer for the most part. It's like I told you after the game, particularly in the first half, more so than the second half. The second half, I actually thought we played halfway decent, but you get a third-and-21 illegal contact, a third-and-seven holding and a third-and-18 bomb. Other than that, we played much better in the second half. We're going to need to play the run a whole lot better in this game than we did last game."

This Sunday, the 49ers face Matt Forte, who is among the best running backs in the NFL. The Bears are dealing with numerous injuries at the wide receiver position, although it remains to be seen what the team decides with Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. Even if both play, we are going to see plenty of Forte.

That's not exactly a surprising statement, but the 49ers first week struggles against the run might impact Chicago's game plan a little bit. The loss of NaVorro Bowman hurts, but the 49ers have to keep figuring out how to handle it each week. Teams are going to attack the middle of that defense until Michael Wilhoite proves he can consistently handle his role in there. We'll see just how heavy a dose of Forte the 49ers get.

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