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While the 49ers own the league's top rusher through two games, the offensive line ranks as the league’s worst pass-blocking unit, according to Pro Football Focus, which grades the performances of every player in every NFL game.
After avoiding negative yardage on sacks in the season opener against the Minnesota Vikings, the 49ers on Sunday surrendered five sacks for minus-37 yards in their 43-18 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“Up and down,” 49ers coach Jim Tomsula answered Monday when asked about the performance of the line. “There was obviously a couple of plays there that we wished we could have protected a touch longer. But there were also some really good things. That group, they’re steadily moving.”
The line supplied Kaepernick with enough protection for him to complete 33 of 46 passes for 335 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. All but 61 of Kaepernick’s passing yards came in the second half after the Steelers rolled to a 26-point lead.
After two weeks, the offensive line is also doing well enough in run-blocking to enable running back Carlos Hyde to rank as the NFL's leading rusher with 211 yards -- 168 of which came in the opener against the Minnesota Vikings.
But center Marcus Martin, right guard Jordan Devey and right tackle Erik Pears have negative overall grades, according to PFF. Pears ranks No. 63 among 70 offensive tackles. Devey is tied for 61st among 71 guards, and Martin grades out No. 27 of 32 centers, according to PFF.
PFF’s stats reveal on 86 pass plays, the offensive line is responsible for five sacks and 37 total pressures. Left tackle Joe Staley has surrendered two sacks and six pressures, while left guard Alex Boone, Pears and Devey have each given up one sack. Pears and Devey have been responsible for eight hurries apiece.