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#pounditWednesday, April 24, 2024

Steve Wilks calls out 49ers’ ’embarrassing’ defense ahead of Super Bowl

Steve Wilks with the media

San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks did not hold back Friday when asked about his team’s performance in the NFC Championship Game.

The Niners mounted a huge comeback over the Detroit Lions to eke out a 34-31 win Sunday at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.

San Francisco’s defense held Detroit to just seven second-half points after the visitors got off to a blistering start in the NFC title game. But despite the midgame recovery, Wilks wasn’t patting his team on the back during a recent press conference.

Wilks slammed the 49ers’ defense for their “embarrassing” performance, particularly on a couple of low-effort defensive plays against the Lions.

“Collectively, as a team, I can tell you it’s unacceptable, and we talked about that. … It wasn’t to our standard. Those guys understand and know that. Quite honestly, it was embarrassing,” said Wilks.

Wilks sounded much different from his initial heartfelt reaction to making the Super Bowl. Celebration has clearly turned into preparation within the 49ers’ locker room.

The Lions gashed the 49ers’ defensive line last week for three rushing touchdowns in the first half alone. San Francisco was able to limit Detroit’s run game in the second half, but not before falling into a 24-7 hole at halftime.

Standing opposite the 49ers’ defense at Super Bowl LVIII will be arguably the greatest offensive player of his generation: Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The 2-time MVP will offer the Niners’ defense their biggest test yet — one worthy of determining this year’s Super Bowl winner.


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