49ers 24, Eagles 23: 49ers Offensive Line Better, So Is Frank Gore

Frank Gore is certainly not done - not by a long shot. His first run of the day was for forty yards, and his touchdown in the fourth quarter gave the 49ers the lead they needed to beat the Philadelphia Eagles. What I saw was a guy who hit the line well and lacked top-end speed, which is pretty much indicative of what we all expect from him at this point. There was a time or two when I felt like he looked a little slow, but that's what happens when you're nursing an ankle injury.

On Gore's good runs, I noticed good play from the line, but for the bigger runs, he sort of slipped in between where the hole was probably going to be before the line even had a chance to look good ... or bad. Kendall Hunter had some good blocking on his runs too, so that's a marked improvement. The running game works, albeit against a terrible rush defense, but it works and we at least have to functional backs and a line that isn't ready to lay down every single game. Progress.

Unfortunately, the pass blocking left much to be desired. Anthony Davis struggled again, but was not responsible for all three of Jason Babin's sacks. Joe Staley gave up a lot of pressure and had a false start. Chilo Rachal was in the game, then out of the game, then in the game again and that's a problem. Jonathan Goodwin had a decent game at center. Mike Iupati, outside of not doing anything on the blocked field goal, had a good game.

My biggest issue is one I reflected in the previous postgame thread: the revolving door at right guard. Offensive lines function on cohesiveness and chemistry, and when you change out the right guard, you force the center (still becoming acclimated to a new system) and the right tackle (twenty-one years old) to make adjustments. Adam Snyder and Rachal are two totally different players with different strengths in blocking - and weaknesses that their comrades have to compensate for.

At this point, to me, the 49ers need to pick a guy and stick with him. The offensive line is one of the most interesting parts of the game to me, and while this doesn't necessarily make me more qualified than anyone else, I urge you to believe me when I stress how important that chemistry is. If it's Rachal, fine, we'll work with it - if it's Snyder, that's great too ... probably better. But they really need to get somebody in there to stay.

Let's continue the postgame talk in this thread, and remember that site decorum is on. 

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