49ers Offensive Line Issues Not Helped By Bruce Miller, Kendall Hunter

A couple days ago, I took a look back at the 49ers-Bengals game and paid specific attention to the sacks given up. We all know that the offensive line is doing very poorly through three games, and we definitely know that the offense is never going to be where Jim Harbaugh wants it if the line doesn't improve. Chilo Rachal is just as bad as we all figured he would be, Jonathan Goodwin isn't living up to expectations, Anthony Davis is still exceedingly raw and Joe Staley doesn't even look like a veteran at this point.

One has to believe the line will improve over time - Mike Iupati is looking to be very good, and Davis still has a lot of room to grow. I still don't know what do about Rachal at right guard and honestly, Staley has been the biggest disappointment to me, but there's still plenty of talent. One good thing to note (at least as far as the offensive line is concerned) is that it hasn't all been on the line. I haven't went back and looked at the Dallas game yet, but when it comes to the sacks given up against the Bengals, at least two, and possibly three of the five sacks had to do with running backs.

I wrote a full post on this over at SB Nation Bay Area, but I did want to get some more discussion about it. Rookie fullback Bruce Miller was in on two of the plays, correctly identifying his blocking assignments, but failing to handle his man. Frank Gore couldn't handle a defender on one of the plays as well (one of the same plays that Miller messed up on), and Kendall Hunter was in on one of them as well. On top of that, Gore was yelled at by Adam Snyder on another play in which Gore popped out after staying in to block initially. So that may have been an error on Gore as well.

So at least two sacks were given up by a combination of three people not on the offensive line, and potentially a third. To me, with Hunter being a rookie, Gore being a little banged up by that point, and Miller also being a rookie ... we'll see the sack numbers go down as the season goes on. There's obviously still issues with the run blocking, but the line isn't as bad as advertised.

Unfortunately, we may be in for more of these issues as Miller is getting the start again in place of Moran Norris, and Hunter is likely to see more snaps in place of a banged up Gore.

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