The San Francisco 49ers need to upgrade their offensive line, though it has improved in some key areas in recent weeks. Jimmy Garoppolo was only sacked once against the Jacksonville Jaguars, though he was also hit twice on plays where Zane Beadles was soundly beaten, including on the play that resulted in an interception.
As far as the pass-rush goes, it hasn’t been fantastic. I think Solomon Thomas still has a long way to go until he can be a productive pass-rusher in the NFL. His moves just aren’t that great, and he gets beat pretty frequently. That said, he was responsible for the lone sack the 49ers earned against the Jaguars on Sunday.
So, as usual, we’re going to take a look at the sacks. Since each team only had one, we’ll combine them into
10:29 in 2nd Quarter, 2nd and 10 from JAX 25: Bortles sacked at JAX 23 for -2 yards (Solomon Thomas)
So, let’s get this out of the way here: the Jacksonville left tackle is kind of a punk on this play. He’s holding, he gets down on top of Thomas after he pushes him to the ground and he still allows the sack. Blink and you’ll miss it, but Thomas just gets his hand in there to trip up Bortles as he tries to start a scramble. You’ll also see the right tackle purposely falling down on the defender on the other side of the line, too. Earl Mitchell is in a good spot to get Bortles before the line if Thomas doesn’t get the trip.
Bortles definitely makes a mistake by stepping up and trying to run here. He doens’t have a ton of open space, while he has a receiver who gets open in a hole in the 49ers’ zone at around the 35-yard line. It’s a soft zone, and Bortles can certainly make that throw. He doesn’t, though, and gets taken down.
10:24 in 3rd Quarter, 3rd and 8 from SF 27: Garoppolo sacked at SF 23 for -4 yards (Yannick Ngakoue)
Only Joe Staley really controls his man on this play. All of Zane Beadles, Brandon Fusco and Laken Tomlinson get beat, while Daniel Kilgore blocks nobody instead of helping with a double-team. Fusco and Beadles are beaten a lot worse than Tomlinson, who at least has a second effort to get his big body in the way. It’s ultimately Fusco’s guy who brings Garoppolo down from behind.
Unfortunately, when he’s on the run, Garoppolo doesn’t even get time to adjust the ball in his hands before he gets brought down from behind. He has a receiving option over the middle, but it’s a tight throw and he’s already tucked the ball by then. Given slightly better blocking, he might be able to reset and launch a ball.
What I really don’t like about this play: the 49ers have five players eligible to catch a pass, and three of them are 4 yards short of the first-down line when Garoppolo completes his shallow dropback. He has time to throw to one of them, but it’s a pretty uninspired play as far as the routes go.