Rough night for 49ers' offensive line

Harbaugh wants to see 'significant improvement' from O-line

Rough night for 49ers' offensive line
September 16, 2013, 3:00 pm
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The 49ers' offensive line didn't give Colin Kaepernick much time to throw and did not create many running lanes for Frank Gore. (AP)

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers have one of the most physical offensive lines in the NFL.

But it was the Seattle Seahawks defensive front on Sunday night in the role of the bully.

[RELATED: Instant replay -- Seahawks 29, 49ers 3]

Running back Frank Gore had no room to run. The unit considered the strength of the 49ers’ offense was easily handled by a shorthanded Seahawks defensive front. Starters Chris Clemons (knee) and Bruce Irvin (suspension) did not play in the game.

“There are things we’ll put our finger on, and try to make improvement – significant improvement – this week,” 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said on Monday. “That’s something that early the part of the season, you want to make the most of, identifying where you can get better, make improvements, and you want to see those improvements made.”

Pro Bowl offensive linemen Joe Staley and Mike Iupati struggled throughout the night.

[MAIOCCO: Week 2 Rewind -- 49ers fall apart in Seattle]

Staley had a difficult time Sunday night at left tackle as a run blocker. Pro Football Focus, which grades every player in every game, ranked Staley as the best run-blocking grade of any tackle in the league last season. But on Sunday, Staley had a minus-4.9 grade, according to PFF’s system.

Left guard Iupati uncharacteristically got pushed around in run blocking and pass protection against defensive tackle Red Bryant, who planted him on his back while pass-rushing one third-quarter play. Iupati allowed one quarterback hit and six hurries.

Right tackle Anthony Davis, who signed a seven-year, $37.295 million contract in the offseason, gave up a sack, a quarterback hit and three hurries. He also got called for unnecessary roughness against pass-rusher O’Brien Schofield in the fourth quarter.

In reference to the penalty, Davis wrote on Twitter after the game: “In physical combat/Oline play it's human nature to fight or flight when your backs against the wall. Never flight. Sue me.”

[RELATED: Turnovers, penalties doom 49ers in Seattle]

Gore finished with 16 yards on nine rushing attempts. Through two games, Gore has gained just 60 yards on 30 carries.

Even when the 49ers supplied quarterback Colin Kaepernick with time to throw, the 49ers’ offense could not get anything going.

“There was good coverage, there was pressure at times,” Harbaugh said. “Going back and looking at the tape, Colin competed, was seeing the field, made plays. He made the most amount of plays that we made on offense.

“I thought Colin competed and played hard, and played well, at times. He was the most productive person we had on offense.”

Wide receiver Anquan Boldin, could not get open against the aggressive press coverage of Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman. Boldin was held to one catch for 7 yards.

Kaepernick completed just 13 of 28 passes for 127 yards with no touchdowns and three interceptions. He was sacked three times and rushed for a team-high 87 yards on nine attempts.

“I’m not disappointed in the way Colin played, at all,” Harbaugh said. “I think he did what he could.”