The 49ers’ interior offensive line was under siege after their Week 1 performance, being criticized for their pass-protection issues and missed assignments.
Per PFF, guard Aaron Banks and center Jake Brendel each gave up two quarterback hurries in passing situations. However, they both bounced back on Sunday in a major way, with Banks only giving up one pressure and Brendel putting up a clean sheet.
Rookie guard Spencer Burford put up a clean sheet in pass protection back-to-back weeks, starting off his NFL career in dominant fashion.
Specifically focusing on the guard position — which has been heavily scrutinized — the 49ers have reaped the benefits of their decision so far.
Through 2 weeks, here are where the #49ers' guards rank in PFF grades for guards:— Akash Anavarathan (@akashanav) September 19, 2022
Aaron Banks: 5th (out of 43)
Spencer Burford: 17th (out of 43)
Both young guards for the 49ers playing at a plus level so far through 2 weeks. Great, great sign.
Per PFF, Aaron Banks’ overall grade ranks fifth among all guards and Spencer Burford’s ranks 17th. I’m not the biggest proponent of PFF grades because it’s somewhat subjective, but the eye test matches the grade so far.
PFF's Pass-Blocking Grade, Guards, 2022:— Akash Anavarathan (@akashanav) September 19, 2022
1. Zack Martin, DAL, 84.7
2. James Daniels, PIT, 84.1
3. Spencer Burford, SF, 83.7
4. Aaron Banks, SF, 82.2
What a turnaround from 2021. We're about to find out if Burford and Banks can keep this up -- but good sign so far.
Pass protection has been an issue for 49ers’ guards in the past, but Burford and Banks seem to be providing an improvement in that area so far.
Per PFF, their pass-blocking grades currently rank third and fourth among all guards this season.
The “Triple Bs” in the middle have been under a magnifying glass all offseason, but they really stepped up in Week 2. Now the question becomes: can they keep this up as the season goes?