The San Francisco 49ers will once again have five first-line defensive linemen on their roster aimed at wreaking havoc on opposing quarters.
The Nick Bosa-led Chaos-Makers Group counted 45 sacks – including their Super Bowl run – last season to set a one-season record for most sacks thanks to a collection of first-round picks, according to NFL Research. But after a notable regression down the home stretch for the 49ers defense and the loss of Buckner, the question for the defending NFC champions remains whether San Francisco’s No.1 passing defense can continue to excel in 2020?
In 2019, the 49ers allowed the fewest passing yards per game at 169.2, thanks in large part to the fifth round of Bosa (2019), Buckner (2016), Arik Armstead (2015), Dee Ford (2014) and Solomon Thomas (2017).
As a 2019 NFL defensive rookie of the year, Bosa had nine sacks in the regular season and had an immediate impact, even though it was Armstead’s 10 sacks who led and won the contract $ 85 million over five years in the offseason. Buckner, who had 62 tackles and 7.5 sacks, was shipped to the Colts for a first-round selection used for Kinlaw, South Carolina. Thomas played all 16 games, but recorded just two sacks and 21 tackles with three starts, while Ford struggled to stay on the pitch with 11 games played and two starts, but took advantage as the former chef had 6.5 bags.
The talent is there, but being able to maintain stellar play will be a persistent dilemma in more ways than one.
For starters comes the question of the Super Bowl hangover and the recovery of the 49ers to reach the form that led them to a 13-3 season. There is also the issue of San Francisco allowing 12.8 points and 241 yards per game as well as 3.8 sacks in Week 9, but then allowing 26 points, 322.6 yards and totaling just 2.3 sacks the remainder of. the regular season.
How Kinlaw is doing and whether Thomas can improve from a season in which he ranked 54.5 by Pro Football Focus could be crucial factors.
Nonetheless, with a quintet of top talent, the time has yet come for the 49ers.