Through nine games the San Francisco 49ers have sacked quarterbacks a grand total of 17 times, good for seventh worst in the NFL. That number doesn't reflect hurries and knock-downs, but most folks will agree the pass rush has been an issue at times for the 49ers. On the other side of the ball, the Green Bay Packers have surrendered a league leading 41 sacks. While again, that number does not reflect quarterbacks pressures and whatnot, it's safe to say the Packers pass protection is pretty awful.
Earlier today, ESPN's Mike Sando and Matt Williamson were discussing pass protection on both sides of the ball for this Sunday's matchup. We've had plenty of discussion about the often lingering ineptitude of the 49ers offensive line, so let's focus this discussion on the 49ers occasionally struggling pass rush.
When asked how the Packers were attempting to decrease the pressure, he said:
They are starting to wise up a little bit by calling fewer 7- and 5-step drops. They are getting it out quicker and their wide receivers are very good after the catch, which is what they were two years ago. Last year, the Packers were very vertical and they cannot do that as much any more. They have everything but the protection.
A quick look at Aaron Rodgers game log shows a player who's only no-sack game was at Cleveland. Even with that one goose-egg, Rodgers is still being sacked 4.5 times per game. The 49ers are averaging just under two sacks a game. So maybe this is the opposite of the irresistible force meets the immovable object? Will the 49ers finally manage a consistent pass rush against the Packers?