The San Francisco 49ers are going to need to address the offensive line in a big way, after Jimmy Garoppolo was hit at least eight times while being sacked twice against the Houston Texans on Sunday. Garoppolo has done fine under pressure, but he’s taking a beating over the back-end of this season and that’s a problem.
That problem was exacerbated by Zane Beadles playing and starting at right tackle in place of Trent Brown, who is arguably the best lineman on the team. Beadles performed poorly, allowing a sack and six hurries, according to Pro Football Focus.
It’s worth noting, I suppose, that Beadles didn’t really give up a sack, as far as I’m concerned. He got beaten badly on one of the sacks allowed, but the player credited with sack came from Joe Staley and Laken Tomlinson. Still, he had a bag game overall.
As usual, we’re here to take a look at the film for the sacks allowed. The 49ers also earned three sacks on the day, which we’ll cover on Wednesday. For now, let’s get to the breakdowns of the breakdowns.
13:35 in 4th Quarter, 2nd and 7 from SF 45: Garoppolo sacked at SF 36 for -9 yards (Brian Cushing, Zach Cunningham)
From a blocking standpoint, just about everyone does their jobs here. Zane Beadles and Brandon Fusco hold up fine on the right side, and Matt Breida does a great job of getting in the way of the first guy. Unfortunately, a second defender comes in from the same spot that the running back had to chip, and nobody was there to block him. He brings down Garoppolo while PED-man Cushing is committing a penalty by trying to crawl up Garoppolo’s ankle, but it isn’t called and he gets half a sack for his troubles.
This is an unfortunate play, really Garoppolo sets his feet and is looking to his right, where neither of his receivers are particularly open. The man in the flat is open for a spell, but nothing exciting. By the time he looks to his left, his man is no longer open, and he’s also getting hit. I would have liked Garoppolo to do a better job of pocket awareness as the play developed, but it’s one where he had few options.
7:22 in 4th Quarter, 3rd and 9 from HOU 49: Garoppolo sacked at SF 40 for -11 yards (LaTroy Lewis)
Off the snap, Beadles is beaten soundly on the right side, and he’s the guy that Garoppolo initially sees. Unfortunately, Lewis also manages to slip between Joe Staley and Laken Tomlinson, who are doubling up on him. He crashes into Tomlinson and Daniel Kilgore, and Staley is left on the outside of him. Actually, it took me several viewings of this play in slow motion to even determine how Lewis gets between Staley, Tomlinson and Kilgore. It’s like a cat squeezing through a gap that it clearly is not small enough to get through upon first look.
Unfortunately, I’m going to have to knock Garoppolo for this one. Yes, he was under pressure fairly quickly, but he has a man — Carlos Hyde — running free in the second level when he has plenty of time to make that throw, especially with his release. Garoppolo looks at that man first, then turns to his left to check on those reads — but by the time he turns to see that his man is free, he’s under pressure. Still, it’s a play that he probably should have been able to make. To be fair, he’d been hit eight or nine times before this play.