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One area where the 49ers can improve defensively

The 49ers defense did have one issue against the Jaguars.

The San Francisco 49ers dominated the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, winning 34-3 to improve to 6-3 on the year and remain atop the NFC West as the second half of the season began.

It was an all-around performance for the 49ers, who were dominant offensively with six different scores and zero turnovers, while the defense forced four takeaways of their own.

But, there was still one recurring issue defensively that San Francisco faced, which allowed for some opportunities for the Jacksonville offense: screens.

“I thought there’s a couple of things [that went wrong] on defense, especially the screens and stuff, some of the penalties that got through there,” head coach Kyle Shanahan said on Monday following the game.

The 49ers defense has been known for swarming its opponents and forcing third and long situations with its tenacity and execution.

However, they’ve struggled at times to contain screens, which lead to some missed chances for the defense to get off the field.

Why have screens been an issue for San Francisco?

“Yeah, [the screens are effective] just when there’s a big space between the guys getting out in our coverage,” head coach Kyle Shanahan said on Monday. “That is one weakness sometimes when you play some zone coverages. Sometimes that can be a weakness, when you rush as hard as we do.”

Shanahan noted how those issues have been a regular problem, but it’s also something the entire league has had to balance. Still, he knows the importance of shoring that up just enough to not let there be too many opportunities for opponent success in that fashion.

“So those are the vulnerabilities of some of that stuff, which has always been an issue, not just for us, but any teams that are in passing situations or play the style that we play. People have gotten on us so they’re not going to go away,” Shanahan said. “They’re going to keep coming more and more. I thought there was a couple times we put that bleeding out, especially more in the fourth quarter, the second half. But, we’ve definitely got to get better at that because there’s a little too much space when they’ve hit us on them.”

Now, even with a few issues on the screen front, the 49ers defense managed to be dominant, never breaking when Jacksonville saw some offensive momentum.

The Jaguars got into 49ers territory five times. Here were the results:

1) Fumble at SF 46

2) Field Goal at SF 19

3) Interception at SF 31

4) Fumble at SF 9

5) Interception at SF 38

As a result, Jacksonville scored just three points, going for just 221 total yards, while Trevor Lawrence was sacked five times and committed three of the team’s four turnovers.

Next up, the 49ers will look to continue their hot start to the second half with a victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are coming off a 20-12 win over the Tennessee Titans.