Much has been made of the 49ers offensive line and its struggles across the board. Whether it be running game struggles prior to last week, or general struggles getting Alex Smith time to get off throws, the most consistent "complaint" about the team has been the offensive line.
That was not the case on Sunday. We'll have more thorough analysis of their performance in the coming days, but this is a topic that is worth a lot of discussion given the struggles in recent weeks. The 49ers offensive line did benefit when Gerald McCoy left the game, but even still the line took what was given to them and absolutely blew the Bucs off the blocks.
They might have struggled here or there, but when you average 6.3 yards per rush and you keep your quarterback on his feet all day long, you have done a good job. Frank Gore did a good job in finding some holes at both the line and the second level, but the o-line did a great job breaking things open as well.
The performance is likely a mix of game-planning and execution, but whatever the reason for the strong performance we'll take it every week. After the game, Adam Snyder was asked about the difference in the line's performance and as he described it, "We got a better understanding of the offense."
It's easy to forget the lockout and the impact it had on the development of this offense, but it has to be factored into the early season struggles. At the same time, to see them turn it around fairly quickly is impressive. The Bucs and Eagles both have solid defensive lines but the second half of the Eagles game and the entire Bucs game were things of beauty.
Now the 49ers head to Detroit for another monstrous game. The offensive line will face a tough challenge from the Lions defensive line. I actually expected a bit more from the Lions line thus far this year, but Ndamukong Suh, Corey Williams, Kyle Vanden Bosch and Cliff Avril are a tough task for any offensive line. It will be yet another test for the potentially emerging offensive line.