Secondary’s problems magnified in blowout loss
(MCT) — SAN FRANCISCO — Major Wright didn’t make excuses for the problems he had against the 49ers on Monday night. He simply owned up to his mistakes.
The Bears strong safety had been solid all season, but he took a significant step back in several aspects.
He struggled in coverage. He missed tackles. He got called for defensive holding. He wasn’t the same player.
“We’ve just got to tackle,” Wright said after the 32-7 loss. “I’ve got to make my plays that I’ve got to make and don’t give up big plays.
“I just have to get better. I’m a better player and a better person than that.”
Wright wasn’t alone. The defense struggled as a whole, yet the secondary issues were magnified.
It started on the 49ers’ second possession when Kyle Williams beat nickel back Kelvin Hayden for a 57-yard hookup with quarterback Colin Kaepernick. It set up Kaepernick’s 3-yard touchdown pass to tight end Vernon Davis and was only the third play of 40-plus yards surrendered by the Bears this season.
Hayden was disappointed in himself.
“It was just a leverage mistake,” he said. “It’s a play I’ve got to make. It’s a play where I’ve got to be in better position.”
Williams explained the play from his vantage point.
“It was something (Kaepernick) saw,” he said. “I don’t know what (he) saw. I don’t know what man was on me. Sometimes you don’t get the ball when you’re open because you’re not as open as you think. But it was a perfect ball where I could make a play on it.”
Wright had a tough time keeping up with Davis, who finished with a team-high six catches for 83 yards, including a 32-yard reception.
“I was trying to play for the run, but being that it was Vernon Davis, I should have played him more for the pass,” Wright said. “I definitely have to get better and go back and correct the things on film.”
Free safety Chris Conte had a slip-up of his own, but he wasn’t as quick to point the finger at himself. He was flagged for unnecessary roughness on the first play from scrimmage for hitting Mario Manningham late.
“He’s down and he can get up and run with the ball, so he’s still a live player,” Conte said. “I didn’t understand that one at all. I’m still scratching my head on that one.”
After giving up 355 yards and three plays of 30-plus yards, the entire defense still is scratching its head.