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How hot is Robert Saleh’s seat after the last two games?

46 points and then that. With that unacceptable performance, it’s time to bring back the Heat-O-Meter

I have defended Robert Saleh all season. I also have subscribed to the notion that he is a competent defensive coordinator now that he has that defensive line and secondary. I mean, what defensive coordinator wouldn’t want those toys to play with? That’s the problem though, is he doing well because of the talent, or has he made the talent that much better?

The San Francisco 49ers defense has eroded over the last three weeks. They let Lamar Jackson run wild, they let Drew Brees put up 46 points, and then in the worst possible way, with only one guy that is worth anything in Julio Jones, they allowed him to score a touchdown to give the Atlanta Falcons the win.

And yes, the D-line was held throughout the game. I don’t know the point of an elite defensive line when offenses can block in the back to oblivion and grab jerseys. And yes, the 49ers offense was asleep at the wheel for most of the game. The 49ers as a whole looked awful and nothing like a team that could win the Super Bowl.

But the defense had no answer on the final drive. Julio Jones. That’s all they had to cover. You know, on fourth down, the Falcons will go to one of the best wide receivers in the league.

And the 49ers let him catch it. Some may say, “Bad beat.” Some may say, “Injuries,” I say, “Unacceptable.”

We’re dusting off the Heat-O-Meter. That’s two weeks now with subpar defensive performances. I’m not letting them off the hook with injuries either. I’ve placed blame on Kyle Shanahan for some strange play calls, today I look at Robert Saleh.

Last week, the 49ers allowed 46 points. I gave them the benefit of the doubt being location and the quarterback they played. I said the injuries were concerning, but I also said the actual result was not. This week? When you combine it with last week. Yeah, now I’m concerned.

It’s not that the 49ers lost, it’s how they lost. They let the one guy everyone and their mother knew Matt Ryan would go to get a last-minute TD by fighting two centimeters over the white line. The only guy they need to worry about. Again, it’s unacceptable.

My big issue is: how many good players does Saleh need? Does he really lift a defense, or is this defense lifting him? The 49ers played bad yesterday, but in that situation, they should not have lost that game.

Coaches like Bill Belichick and (an even better example) Vic Fangio amplify defenses with their schemes. Fangio took a sub-par defense with the 49ers and made it one of the best in the league. Some of that was because of an underachieving roster, thanks to Mike Singletary, but the Fangio effect was seen when he went to the Chicago Bears as well. Overnight (and with Khalil Mack’s help), the Bears were one of the best in the league. Fangio runs a 3-4, so I can’t say, “If he had this [49ers] group,” what would happen since the 49ers have converted to a 4-3, but my point is, Saleh has far better talent across the board compared to the Bears (in my opinion). Is he utilizing it?

It’s up to you.

You know how this works: we see if we are overreacting this week or if there’s a general concern for Saleh’s abilities as a defensive coordinator.

With that, here’s the Heat-O-Meter:


How hot is Robert Saleh’s seat after the last two weeks?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    (292 votes)
  • 18%
    Feeling hot, hot, hot
    (837 votes)
  • 31%
    Nice and warm
    (1448 votes)
  • 27%
    Just sat down
    (1270 votes)
  • 16%
    It’s got icicles hanging from it.
    (749 votes)
4596 votes total Vote Now