49ers’ defense on pace to allow fewest passing yards since 1982

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San Francisco defensive coordinator Robert Saleh was getting plenty of air time during Sunday’s win over the Rams, as the TV cameras repeatedly showed him pumping his fists in celebration as his defense repeatedly got the better of the Rams’ offense. He then got more attention after the game as head coach Kyle Shanahan called on Saleh to address the media.

Saleh has earned that attention.

The 49ers’ defense shut down Jared Goff and the Rams’ passing game on Sunday, but that was far from the first time this season. In fact, the 49ers are allowing an NFL-best 150.2 passing yards per game this season. That’s not just the best this year, it’s a pace to allow just 2,403 passing yards this season. That would be the fewest by any defense in the NFL since 1982.

And, of course, the 1982 season was shortened to nine games by a players’ strike. To find a defense that has allowed fewer than 2,403 passing yards in a 16-game season, you have to go back to 1980.

The passing game was so different back then that it might as well have been a different sport. For the 49ers’ defense to put up numbers against the pass that look like something out of the 1980s is a great credit to the job Saleh is doing, and the biggest reason they’re 5-0.

12 responses to “49ers’ defense on pace to allow fewest passing yards since 1982

  1. What a difference a year makes. Last season the secondary was the weakest part of the team, with 2 interceptions for the entire season.

  2. The competition has been pretty light considering Mayfield and Goff both seem to be backsliding for some reason. But, to do this in this era is still very impressive.

  3. 49ers fans, put your hands over your head and celebrate like only you can.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  4. That’s an amazing stat, especially in 2019 NFL. I don’t think it’s sustainable but anything close to that is still crazy.

  5. We get to play the most pedestrian QBs being in the NFC west too. Should be obtainable. Kyler the rookie, Goff already got held under 80 yards passing, and Wilson who throws for for 231 yards per game for his career. In fact, this is his best season ever and he’s only throwing for 284 per game, against some of the leagues weakest teams. MVP? What a joke. The refs in Green Bay are more likely to win MVP.

  6. amaf21 says:
    October 15, 2019 at 2:08 pm
    Scary to think how good they are even with little richard getting torched every week.


    LOL except Sherman has been 1 of the best CBs in the NFL since joining SF. PFF > your subjective opinion.

    Do tell though, which player/game has Sherman been torched in as a 9er?

  7. Jimmy G. is the reason the 9ers are 5-0. Put CJ Beathard in there, the Niners could be 0-5, and put Nick Mullins in, then the Niners may well be 3-2 or 2-3. Defense alone cannot account for the fact that Frisco beat the Bangles, Steelers, Browns and LAmbs by a combined total of 69 points. Jimmy G. is playing better than any Frisco quarterback since Kap did in 2013. Move over cynical rovers, and let Jimmy G. take over.

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