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49ers DC DeMeco Ryans says defensive struggles against Chiefs had one simple cause

The 49ers defense got torched by Kansas City, but DeMeco Ryans doesn’t think the cause was anything complicated.

Kansas City Chiefs v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

The 49ers have had one of the best defenses in the NFL this season, particularly over the past few weeks. However, San Francisco’s 44-23 loss to the Chiefs remains the biggest blemish on the unit’s resume. Niners defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans was asked about that performance during his press conference on Thursday, and he had a simple explanation.

“From the Chiefs game, guys just have to do their job and tackle,” Ryans said. “I’d give you more detail, but it’s simple as that. In the Chiefs game, what we didn’t do, we didn’t get off the field on third down because we didn’t make plays, we busted coverages. We weren’t where we supposed to be.”

The 49ers defense was torched by Kansas City. Patrick Mahomes threw for 423 yards and three touchdowns while their rushing attack amassed 112 yards on the ground. The Chiefs took advantage of a pair of Niners turnovers, but the defense’s inability to get any consistent stops was the driving force in the blowout.

Since that game, though, the 49ers defense has turned in four excellent performances against the Rams, Chargers, Cardinals, and Saints. The Niners have allowed just 10 points per game over that span and have not surrendered a point in the second half in any of their last three games.

Below is a transcription of Ryans’ full answer:

From the Chiefs game, guys just have to do their job and tackle. I’d give you more detail, but it’s simple as that. In the Chiefs game, what we didn’t do, we didn’t get off the field on third down because we didn’t make plays, we busted coverages. We weren’t where we supposed to be. We didn’t do our job and when you don’t do your job consistently, you’ll get embarrassed as we did in that Chiefs game. And it’s nothing that they did that surprised us, it’s guys just being on it each and every snap.