Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/27/12

The San Francisco 49ers ranked fourth in the NFL in total defense last season and second in scoring defense, and there's no question defense is the team's strength.

So it comes as somewhat of a surprise that opposing offenses have moved the ball and scored with relative ease against the 49ers during the preseason. That includes Sunday's 29-24 victory over Denver, in which the Broncos scored on their first three possessions to take a quick 17-0 lead. Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning played less than a quarter but completed 10 of 12 passes for 122 yards and led scoring drives of 23, 83 and 45 yards without a punt or turnover against the 49ers' No. 1 defense.

San Francisco defensive coordinator Vic Fangio says it's not time to panic, though.

"No, not yet," he said Monday. "We just didn't play well enough on certain plays. I think it was a great learning experience for us, in that some of the plays were we broke down, we could have definitely played better. And then in some instances, they just beat us one-on-one. We weren't able to win the one-on-one battles."

It is just the preseason, and the 49ers don't do any specific game-planning for opposing offenses at this stage.

Plus, the 49ers played Sunday's game without Aldon Smith, NaVorro Bowman and Chris Culliver.

Fangio agreed the team might be a little overconfident, perhaps concerned more about the regular season than the preseason.

"I think there is some of that," he said. "The guys are ready to go, that's for sure and get on to playing in the regular season. This is still great time to learn, perfect your craft, excel on your technique and stuff and we have to be able to do that. And we weren't perfect on that the other night by any means."

Fangio was reminded that the Houston Texans and quarterback Matt Schaub had similar success against the 49ers defense in the third exhibition game last season.

"I kind of recall that game last year as being, yeah we got beat, and I don't really remember what the score was, but I saw a lot of good signs in that game, too, that I thought meant good things for going down the road," he said. "And I still see that here, too. It's important that we learn from our technique mistakes and not repeat them.

"[On Sunday] we played the run pretty good, other than the one that popped out of there. Thought we had some good individual efforts. [DT] Justin Smith showed that he's ready to go. Couple other players did also. We just weren't consistent. And I was particularly disappointed in some of the backups' performances after they got in there."

Fangio has been impressed with cornerback Perrish Cox and has been trying to decide how to use him.

"He's a backup nickel right now, a backup corner," Fangio said. "The more three- and four-wide receiver teams that we see, the more he'll get to play. But if he keeps playing the way he's playing and becomes an expert at his craft, we'll find a way to get him in there."

The 49ers have not decided which players will participate in Thursday's final preseason game against San Diego.

"We haven't totally decided that yet. I think it'll be more so on an individual basis than on a unit basis," Fangio said.

According to Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, receiver Ted Ginn, who sprained his right ankle in Sunday's game, had an orthopedic boot on his foot Monday and it's uncertain whether he'll be ready for the Sept. 9 season opener at Green Bay.

Running back Brandon Jacobs was no longer on crutches because of his knee injury, according to CSNBA, and the 49ers hope he can play against Green Bay.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Sanu: Halftime show played role in Super Bowl collapse

James Dolan is among potential group of investors of new arena for New York Islanders

Report: Rams, Clippers discussing NBA venue in Inglewood

Terrence Jones reportedly interested in joining Celtics

LeBron reverses course, says he ‘always felt good’ about Cavs

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Ole Miss tried to implicate Mississippi State in football scandal

Jamaal Charles could be on the roster bubble

Jimmy Butler on state of Bulls: ‘I just want to win at all costs’

Report: Giants will be ‘aggressive’ in trying to sign Jason Pierre-Paul

Report: Porzingis avoided ligament damage in ankle

Brooks Koepka meltdown includes whiff, stomping head off driver

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker