24 Sep 49ers OL Woes Will Plague the Season
After this past Sunday’s “massacre” of 49ers players, which featured season-ending injuries to both Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas, the team has to play on the same field this Sunday against the New York Giants.
Aside from the two men who are done for the year, there were a bevvy of injuries to the likes of guys such as Tevin Coleman, Raheem Mostert, D.J. Jones, and Dre Greenlaw. Arguably the most impactful injury outside of Bosa, was the high-ankle sprain suffered by QB Jimmy Garoppolo.
Suffered early in the first quarter on a low hit from Jets DL Quinnen Williams, Garoppolo was playing on the hurt ankle for the entire first half. He was later substituted for backup Nick Mullens for the remainder of the game.
Suffered in the first play of the video, LG Laken Tomlinson blew his block against Quinnen, which lead to this sack and the eventual Jimmy injury.
In just one half of football on a bum ankle, Garoppolo went 14/16 for 131 yards and 2 TDs. Needless to say, Garoppolo would’ve had a fantastic day barring his injury.
The big story of the game however, was the awful pass protection the 49ers featured throughout the game. According to PFF, these are the following grades and pressures allowed via 49ers OL:
Trent Williams: 80.0 pass block grade, 1 pressure
Laken Tomlinson: 55.6 pass block grade, 3 pressures
Hroniss Grasu: 70.4 pass block grade, 0 pressures
Daniel Brunskill: 39.4 pass block grade, 3 pressures
Mike McGlinchey: 41.5 pass block grade, 3 pressures
Outside of Williams and Grasu, the rest of the unit performed terribly. This kind of play can lead to QBs getting hurt (see: Garoppolo). The fact that Jimmy performed as well as he did with pressure on him all afternoon, on top of the ankle injury, speaks volumes to his ability to perform under pressure.
According to ESPN’s pass-block win-rate metric, the 49ers as a team have won their blocks at a 54% clip, good for 23rd in the entire league.
This number isn’t awful, but, it still isn’t acceptable. Albeit the team is still getting their feet wet after no official training camps and preseason games, yet this kind of performance will not end well for the QB under center.
I expect the OL play as a whole to improve over the course of the season. If this kind of play continues though, it will be tough sledding for the offense and specifically Jimmy Garoppolo to get any sort of time to get throws off. Garoppolo is already gifted with a fast release on his throws, but when his wide receivers are not separating and Jimmy needs time in the pocket, it’ll be a rough day for the man.