No. 2: Offensive line could still be a problem
Through two weeks of the season, Garoppolo had been hit twice and taken one sack against Tampa Bay and Cincinnati. Those numbers were expected to increase in Week 3, as the 49ers were without the services of their elder statesman, left tackle Joe Staley.
While the hits the quarterback took increased (not by as much as it seemed at the end of the game), the 49ers offensive line allowed only a single sack to the Steelers defense. The issue here is not the team has only allowed their signal-caller to be sacked a mere two times, it’s the hits he has taken.
Quarterbacks get hit, we know this. It’s finding ways to reduce those instances, which can not only prolong your quarterback’s season, but can also take a team from good to great. It’s another aspect of the game which, if clicking on all cylinders, leads to wins.
Skule had a series of three penalties in the fourth quarter, which could have derailed the team’s chances at winning its home opener. One of those flags was thrown for an illegal blindside block which was suspect, to say the least.
At the end of the day, the offensive line didn’t play bad and Skule performed better than expected. It’s limiting penalties and hits allowed on Garoppolo which will help Shanahan and the team sleep better at night.