John Lynch

Why Lynch believes 49ers' defense has struggled during losing streak 

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  • Programming note: Watch Greg Papa's full interview with John Lynch on "49ers Game Plan," airing at 9 p.m. PT Friday after "Dubs Talk Live" on NBC Sports Bay Area

After racing out to a 5-0 start to begin the 2023 NFL season, the 49ers have been in a tailspin since Week 6, losing each of their last three games.

John Lynch sat down with Greg Papa this week on "49ers Game Plan," where the general manager shared his thoughts on the defensive regression during San Francisco's three-game losing skid.

"Yeah, the last three haven't been up to our standard," Lynch told Papa. "... And so I don't think, you know, we were resting on our laurels, but I do think human nature kicks in, and when everyone's telling you're unbeatable, we felt unbeatable and, I think maybe you lose the little details, and we got humbled."

Lynch then elaborated that resiliency after a tough loss is a tell-tale sign of an elite team, which is why San Francisco's performances in the weeks following its first loss of the season is what concerned him the most.

He emphasized the Week 8 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, citing how the 49ers got away from the identity that has earned them the respect as one of the most feared NFL teams.

"Typically a good team, a really good team, when you get humbled, and we did in Cleveland, you respond," Lynch said. "And we ran into a hot Kirk Cousins, and we didn't do enough to disrupt him. And then you take it to Cincinnati, and Cincinnati was the game that probably was most bothersome just because that didn't look like us.

"We're usually the more physical team, we're the team playing harder, running to the football, and Cincinnati matched our intensity. I think what we have to be, what we've put on tape over the last couple of years, we're going to get everyone's best shot, and we have to not only answer that we got to beat that and, I think you also can't get away from what made us who we've been."

After allowing just 13.6 points per game over their 5-0 start, the 49ers' defense has seen that number increase by double-digits to 24 points per game during its three-game losing streak.

Lynch touched on the Week 9 bye coming at the perfect time, allowing the team to regroup and rediscover the early season form that had them looking like title favorites.

"I think this bye gives us a really good opportunity to identify some of those things to get a reset, freshen up, and come back and get back to who we are," Lynch said.

San Francisco's first shot at redemption will come in Week 10 when they travel east to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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