When it rains, it pours. The San Francisco 49ers have a slew of injuries and the players who were actually healthy looked foolish against the Denver Broncos on Sunday. I said before the game that I was confident, but for no real reason -- discerning readers will note my random confidence is rarely placed properly.
Whatever the case, there's one aspect of this game that I predicted correctly: the pass rush and offensive line play on both sides. I'm a little surprised the 49ers managed to get to Peyton Manning twice but it was nice, obviously. But I did suggest that San Francisco's offensive line would continue struggling and boy ... was I right.
Every player on the line struggled, which I guess is expected given the injuries but even guys like Joe Staley are simply getting beat one-on-one on multiple plays. Colin Kaepernick's pocket presence seems to be at an all-time low, as well. Let's just dive into the sacks allowed -- I'm going to keep my breakdowns short.
14:15 in 1st Quarter, 3rd and 6 at SF 24: Kaepernick sacked for -7 yards
Here's what went wrong on this play: everything.
Kaepernick didn't have any receivers open and every single offensive lineman struggled to hold his block. Alex Boone looks particularly silly as his man goes around to the left side of the line and Boone just kind of looks around sheepishly instead of hustling to find a block somewhere. Whatever the case, the pocket collapses on the left side -- you'll notice Staley getting beat one-on-one and everyone else getting overwhelmed.
14:00 in 2nd Quarter, 1st and 10 at SF 13: Kaepernick sacked for -8 yards
This was another poor play from Staley, and perhaps a missed diagnosis from Joe Looney. Whatever the case, the 49ers have a back in to chip and he does that well enough, but Kaepernick is already on the move from the guy who slipped between Staley and Looney. Boone is once again blocking nobody.
2:43 in 2nd Quarter, 1st and 10 at SF 36: Kaepernick sacked at SF 27 for -9 yards
That was a slick, slick move by Demarcus Ware there. He gets Staley turned around with a half-spin move and then stops the spin move once Staley is sort of looking wherever. Boone is, once again, blocking nobody.
10:55 in 3rd Quarter, 3rd and 11 at SF 29: Kaepernick sacked for -9 yards
Kaepernick holds onto the ball for too long on this play. I understand he needs 11 yards but he has guys open and he with enough space to make something happen. The offensive line couldn't get anything done when he's got the ball that long. Serious kudos to Frank Gore running out and making that block on the outside pass-rusher -- a great play from him.
14:21 in 4th Quarter, 3rd and 14 at SF 36: Kaepernick sacked for -10 yards
Anthony Davis gets beat badly on the spin play and Kaepernick had no hope. Well that's not true, Kaepernick had plenty of hope if he wasn't rolling out to the right side for essentially no reason -- all he has to do is step up into the pocket and he's totally safe. But yeah, it's still a bad play from Davis. Boone once again blocks nobody.
5:23 in 4th Quarter, 2nd and 11 at DEN 11: Kaepernick sacked for -10 yards
Staley loses his man first, but Looney and Davis are not far behind him. I'm not even sure who Kaepernick sees first --- I think it's Davis' guy and he turns right into Staley and Looney's guys. Boone is actually blocking someone on this play and he's doing well. This one never had a chance.