GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The 49ers' defense came into Thursday night's game in the middle of a streak in which they'd had a stranglehold on their opponents. That ended with the Niners allowing 25 points to the Cardinals and narrowly escaping the desert with a 28-25 win at State Farm Stadium.
You might expect players to be happy sitting at a perfect 8-0, but cornerback Richard Sherman was particularly salty with the performance of the defense, especially his own.
The 49ers' defense had allowed 100 yards passing or less in each of the past four games. Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray managed to throw for 241 yards. His 88-yard touchdown pass to rookie Andy Isabella was particularly upsetting for Sherman.
“You’re thankful for your offense,” Sherman said after the Week 9 win. “You’re thankful for how they played. We let them down, myself included. You have to get him tackled at that point. The guy breaks, we have to get him down. I have to make that tackle and get him down and give us a chance to continue to defend.
“It’s humbling for the defense. We need to be humbled. It was a humbling game. You need to be humbled on all levels, and I think there’s accountability on all levels. We’ll watch the tape, and we’ll watch it critically, and everybody will watch it and judge themselves critically. That was not championship football.”
Newly acquired Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake racked up 110 yards on the ground as well as a rushing touchdown, one of only three allowed by the 49ers' defense this season. Sherman had been proud of the defense through the past several weeks, with the group playing sound defense and not making mental errors. That was not the case Thursday.
“The results will be what they will be, sometimes you’ll win, sometimes you’ll lose,” Sherman said. “But if you do what you’re supposed to do, when you’re supposed to do it, how you’re supposed to do it, you’ll have the results you want. To sit here and say, ‘Man, we won,’ is not how I am. It’s not the accountability we need, and is not leadership.”
In the past, coach Kyle Shanahan has spoken about being able to enjoy getting a win while still having a lot to work on in the coming week. Sherman said that this would be the epitome of that situation for the defense.
“It happens, and it happened at a good time,” Sherman said. “We have time to go back to the drawing board and correct those mistakes. We get to see this team again in a couple weeks. We have a tough game against Seattle next week, so you need to tighten things up.
“I think guys need to tighten things up, myself included. You always have to start with yourself, and I need to tighten things up. I have to be where I’m supposed to be. I have to get the guys on the ground, and we’ll do better as a defense.”