With all the depressing stories of the 49ers losing games at the last minute, there’s one statistic that’s taken a huge bump during Nick Mullens’ two starts. The sack total.
Or lack thereof. The 49ers have had none for two straight games. Mullens has none for his professional career.
Yes, it seems very strange to write this. The 49ers offensive line has been steadily getting better as the season has gone on, unfortunately C.J. Beathard held the ball far too long for anybody’s liking and would take a brutal 18 sacks through his five starts as a result. Even Jimmy Garoppolo with his quick release is not free of the sack number either, racking up 13 in his three games.
The offensive line could also be a credit to this. They have gone up two spots on Pro Football Focus’ offensive line rankings to 14th and surrendered only five pressures on Monday night against the New York Giants. Here’s what PFF said about the line’s jump:
A good portion of Nick Mullens‘ success so far is the fact that the offense has kept him away from too much pressure. On 43 pass plays Monday night, the offensive line gave up only five total pressures. Left guard LakenTomlinson has particularly come on strong of late, with only one hurry allowed in his past three games.
Now this is two games, one against a terrible defensive line in the Oakland Raiders and another against the Giants who have their own defensive line issues (though not near as bad as the Raiders). The 49ers got absolutely torched against better competition with the Los Angeles Rams notching seven sacks in a game a few weeks ago. If the 49ers can keep this streak alive will be something to watch.
With a larger sample size we can look to see if the sack issues were on the quarterbacks, the offensive line, or both. Right now, Mullens is getting rid of the ball and getting help from an improving 49ers O-line.
But so far, two games without an accident!