No. 3: Can the SF 49ers generate enough of a pass rush?
Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas aren’t the only notable absences along the Niners defensive line moving forward.
EDGE Dee Ford, who was intended to be the fellow prolific pass-rusher alongside Bosa, is still dealing with a back injury that sidelined him in Week 2. Currently, there’s no timetable for Ford’s return, meaning the rest of the pass-rushing duties will fall upon less-desirable candidates.
True, defensive end Arik Armstead is still fully healthy and coming off a team-leading and career-high 10-sack campaign last year. On top of that, rookie defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw has shown some decent interior pressure over his first two games at the NFL level, and one figures a quick maturation there could make the loss of Bosa a bit more bearable.
Aside from those two, however, hoping players like Ziggy Ansah and Dion Jordan supply enough in the pass-rush department might be a tall order, especially considering the two combined for a mere 4.5 sacks with the Seattle Seahawks and Oakland Raiders, respectively, last year.
If there’s good news for San Francisco, though, the Giants offensive line isn’t exactly dominating in pass protection over their first two games of 2020, currently ranked 22nd by Football Outsiders after surrendering a league-high eight sacks.
Plus, without Saquon Barkley to settle things on the ground, the SF 49ers pass-rushers can pin their proverbial ears back attempting to get to second-year quarterback Daniel Jones.
At least that’s the hope.