The Unsung Heroes in the San Francisco 49ers New-Look Offense

Jason O. Watson - Getty Images

With all the attention on the San Francisco 49ers playmakers after Week 5, we focus some of that admiration toward the offensive line.

Sunday afternoon, the 49ers set a franchise-record of 621 total yards, as the first team in NFL history to rush for 300-plus yards and pass for 300-plus yards in a single game. San Francisco's offense has really begun to show it's potential in the past two weeks, putting together a two-week scoring differential of 79-3 against the Jets and Bills.

The skill players have come out of their shell, causing headaches for defenses and breaking the will of teams with their overwhelming presence.

The list of playmakers for the Niners is extensive in comparison to most other teams. San Francisco spent their 2012 offseason acquiring talented depth for their offense. And while the list of athletic game-changers is fantastic, none of this would be able to work if the offensive line wasn't performing at such a high level.

There were some serious questions regarding the unit heading into the season. The team allowed Adam Snyder to walk, leaving a hole at right guard, and rolled the dice on backup tackle Alex Boone. With his large stature, some questioned whether or not he could make the transition to interior line. At first glance, you might think Boone would be an obstruction, taking away passing lanes for Alex Smith.

Instead, he's been a physical presence that plays as blue-collar as any of the other four starting offensive linemen. And next to him is one of the big surprises of the season.

49ers right tackle Anthony Davis has been have a superb season. A high first-rounder only a couple years ago, it was hard to gauge whether or not Davis would eventually make that leap as one of the league's better edge protectors. He's played mistake-free and physical so far in 2012, really using his size and league experience to his advantage.

It's also hard to ignore the left side, made up of Joe Staley and Mike Iupati.

These two guys have come through for the 49ers, particularly in the run game. They are so strong, physical and athletic, that it allows San Francisco to have that offensive identity of creative and dominant. Staley and Iupati are team-first guys that play through to the whistle and impose their will on defensive fronts.

And at center, the Niners still have former Pro Bowl center Jonathan Goodwin, who has been holding down the line just fine. He has seen some challenging defensive tackles already this season in B.J. Raji, Corey Williams, Ndamukong Suh, Kevin Williams, Kyle Williams and Marcel Dareus, yet his name has not been called and neither have any of theirs.

Because of the emergence of this now stout offensive line, the 49ers can do the things they want to do on offense. They can run and pass efficiently. It's largely because of these five linemen that San Francisco has analysts and onlookers calling them the most balanced team in the league.

My hat goes off to the 49ers staff for putting these guys together and coaching them up. This unit is miles ahead of where they were only a couple years ago. If this line can stay healthy, the Niners can continue to impose their will and generate offense.

Follow @DeSimone80

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