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Instant Reaction: What the heck happened to the defense?

Wasn’t that the strength of this team so far this year?

Buffalo Bills v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images

Good news, 49ers fans! Josh Allen didn’t hurt the Niners with his legs at all. Unfortunately, he didn’t really have to all night long. Thanks to the worst team defensive performance of the season (as opposed to Brian Allen vs. Miami), San Francisco got sliced and diced by Allen all night long in a 34-24 loss that was worse than it looked.

The Bills’ QB was 19 of 23 for 236 yards and two touchdowns on the day in the first damn half. He actually went 32 of 40 for 375 yards and four touchdowns in the entire game. Just about every single player in the secondary struggled at times, especially as Robert Saleh continued to call zone coverages against a quarterback who clearly was having zero problems with it.

When the 49ers did switch to man coverage, they were often confused and disorganized, which resulted in two touchdown passes to receivers left wide open after blown coverages. Cole Beasley caught nine passes for 130 yards and a touchdown, and Stefon Diggs caught 10 balls for 92 yards.

Clearly and ugly night for Robert Saleh’s men. Not that Kyle Shanahan and the offense fared much better, mind you. The drive of the game came in the first quarter after the 49ers stopped the Bills at the goal line. San Francisco then mounted an eight minute, 97-yard drive that ended in a turnover on downs when Jeff Wilson was stopped at the 1-yard line on a shotgun run on 4th down.

That was pretty much a microcosm of the evening the 49ers had.

To hear more about tonight’s disaster, check out the Instant Reaction podcast with myself and Levin Black. Come commiserate with us and maybe you’ll feel a little better after it’s over.