49ers Pass Protection Silver Linings Are Few; Vernon Davis Soundly Beaten

In Thursday's 16-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, the San Francisco 49ers had very little to hang their hats on. The fact that they were in a bad situation, playing on the road with a short week across three time zones only soothes the pain of having an eight game losing streak snapped so much. The fact that the team won eight straight to begin with will be soothing after the initial feeling of the loss wears off.

There were few silver linings on the actual football field, though. Other than the fact that, when thinking level-headedly, it was just a team that got outplayed that time out and there wasn't a ton to really look at as needing an emergency adjustment going forward. The biggest thing to note is that, yes, the 49ers allowed nine sacks on the day. That's the worst thing that happened in that game.

Nine sacks.

What's bad about that is that a good portion of them were right guard Chilo Rachal being a hologram. A turnstile. The 49ers weren't able to do anything at all when Rachal came in for an injured Adam Snyder. The other bad thing to note is the fact that tight end Vernon Davis was soundly beaten by the Ravens pass rush. Terrell Suggs got three sacks on the day, and Davis stayed in to block.

It was the only time I can remember in which Davis was soundly beaten more often than naught when blocking a linebacker. Couple that with some lacking play in the passing game (drops, lack of effort), could that mean a bit of regression for the 49ers star tight end? That's one worry going forward - that Davis is regressing in all areas or perhaps isn't fully healthy. It's not a case of jumping the gun here, just a possibility and an observation that he was soundly beaten in pass protection.

Almost everything was bad about the 49ers offensive line play. Mike Iupati even had points in which he looked completely lost out there, struggling to even find where it was Alex Smith was so he could make another poor attempt at protecting him. About the only silver lining in regards to pass protection is the fact that rookie running back Kendall Hunter actually showed some improvement in the area, getting just enough of multiple rushers to extend the play. Frank Gore also performed well in that regard (outside of one or two plays), but he's always done that.

The 49ers better hope Adam Snyder can return in ten days - though I daresay the St. Louis Rams won't put on that kind of defensive display, even against the likes of Chilo Rachal.

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