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49ers Facing Issues On Offensive Line

It's no small secret that the 49ers were embarrassed last Sunday at home against the Atlanta Falcons. Very many things happened in that game that didn't happen the other four games. The defense played terribly, tackles were missed, discipline did not show and Shaun Hill looked utterly abysmal. But what of something embarrassing happening that we've seen all season? What about the issue that continues to be an issue week in and week out? The offensive line.

The 49ers have given up 16 sacks and it doesn't look like they're slowing down. After failing to address the issues on the offensive line in the draft they turned to free agent signees Marvel Smith and Tony Pashos, both right tackles. Smith lost to Adam Snyder for the starting job and retired before the beginning of the season and Tony Pashos, in limited playing time has been one of the worst on the line. Still, he's not the only one on the line who plays bad, here's a look at the sacks given up by the offensive line:

LT Joe Staley - 2.0 Sacks
LG David Baas - 2.5 Sacks
C Eric Heitman - 0 Sacks
RG Chilo Rachal - 2 Sacks
RT Tony Pashos - 2.5 Sacks
RT Adam Snyder - 3.5 Sacks

These wouldn't be terrible numbers if we were looking at them in week seventeen of the NFL season but well, the 49ers are only five games in. They're on pace at this point to surrender more sacks than last season which was 55. Yes, that means QB Shaun Hill (or Alex Smith) will have gotten hit more than the completely unaware J.T. O'Sullivan.

The team needs to get it together, at this point there are no free agents readily available who will be much of an improvement. The only bright spot on this line is Heitman and Staley is playing better than the stats suggest. The Niners are currently in possession of two first round picks and it remains to be seen if a trade will be made. If not, all 49ers fans have to hope for is an undrafted practice squad rookie in Alex Boone and if not that, then just hoping against hope that Mike Singletary can get this o-line playing like a decent group. If he doesn't, look for the Niners to give up more sacks than they did last season and look for Shaun Hill to do a lot more scrambling.


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