I'm a natural pessimist, though right around the time football season is about to get going again, I'm generally trending in the opposite direction. Unsurprisingly, this season has beat me back down into the miserable place where, admittedly, I am more comfortable. These San Francisco 49ers are thoroughly frustrating (I suspect fans of losing teams are extremely agitated reading this), particularly when it comes to the offense.
One of the biggest issues has been the play of the offensive line. That said, I think the line as a whole has been playing better in recent weeks, and once again had a good showing against Washington on Sunday. Plenty other of issues on the offensive side of the ball are coming to light so it doesn't begin and end with the offensive line play.
That said, we're still going to take a look at the sacks allowed and what went wrong. San Francisco allowed two sacks on Sunday, which is great because they had five of their own (Aaron Lynch had one wiped away on a truly bogus penalty, so they had six in our hearts). I've captured all of the sacks they had, but that won't be in a post until tomorrow morning or on Friday, combined with the sacks from Thursday's game.
Onto the sacks allowed.
1:30 in 2nd Quarter, 2nd and 10 at SF 44: Kaepernick sacked for -4 yards
Jonathan Martin struggled on this play, possibly due to the fact that Alex Boone's guy pushed him from behind on his way to Colin Kaepernick. But Boone does eventually get that guy turned around, and Martin's guy is the one who gets to Kaepernick. You'll notice Kaepernick winding up to throw there and my initial thought was that he probably should have thrown the football. I went to the coaches' film to investigate further.
You can see the guy Kaepernick wants to go to at midfield. He's open, with only one guy in front that, honestly, shouldn't be a problem for Kaepernick. I don't think that he should be able to throw a pass in the face of any pressure but you can see him start to wind up, then stop. I'm not sure what caused the indecision but in my mind, both Kaepernick and Martin are to blame for that play.
7:36 in 4th Quarter, 1st and 10 at SF 25: Kaepernick sacked for -6 yards
This was another play in which my initial reaction was that Kaepernick probably held onto the ball too long. He's looking downfield, he even winds up again but changes his mind. He's also not looking to his right, and is locked onto a receiver the entire play. That said, it turns out my concerns about him holding onto the ball too long were unfounded, given the coaches' film (though he did still lock onto the one receiver).
As you can see, the receiver routes take a very long time to develop, and there's nobody open until Crabtree breaks around the 35-yard line. Crabtree does get open and when that happens, Kaepernick is in a position to deliver the ball on time before Mike Iupati eventually loses his guy all the way around to the right side. But Kaepernick isn't looking at Crabtree, and the situation is really kind of hectic in front of Kaepernick so this is definitely forgivable. I don't think anybody made any truly egregious mistakes on either of these plays.