The San Francisco 49ers haven’t had great play from their quarterbacks, and the running game completely and utterly failed to get anything done against the Denver Broncos in the second preseason game. Offensive line play, at least in the running game, has been sorely lacking.
But as far as protecting the quarterback is concerned, the 49ers might look better than you’d think. Through two weeks of preseason, the 49ers are ranked first in the league in pass blocking efficiency by Pro Football Focus. Their methodology measures pressures allowed on a per-snap basis and, of course, sacks themselves.
The 49ers have a rating of 89.5 in regards to pass blocking efficiency right now, a number that would be meaningless if we didn’t also know that they ranked 29th in the league with a 71.7 rating a season ago.
Furthermore, the 49ers have allowed just eight pressures on 62 passing plays, with Joe Staley, Trent Brown and Daniel Kilgore as particularly excellent in that area. All three of those players have a perfect pass blocking efficiency, at least through two preseason games.
They also have Zane Beadles and Brandon Fusco rated highly in this area.
These numbers don’t mean a ton through two preseason games and limited action for the starters, but anecdotally I’ve thought the pass protection has looked pretty decent, and these numbers back that up to an extent. Keeping Brian Hoyer protected will be key to this season not being a complete and utter farce.