49ers' 'sporadic' offensive line struggles in preseason finale vs. Texans

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'Sporadic' 49ers O-line struggles in preseason finale originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

HOUSTON — The 49ers have 17 days to find chemistry on the offensive line in order to protect quarterback Trey Lance and get the ground game going.

San Francisco was shut out 17-0 in their final preseason game against the Houston Texans on Thursday night at NRG Stadium. Lance was on the field for 22 offensive snaps and only was sacked once but was under duress most of the time. The young quarterback completed seven of his 11 attempts for 49 yards over three drives and couldn’t seem to get into a rhythm.

An ineffective rushing attack did not help Lance’s endeavors, nor did it change at any point during the game, even with backups Nate Sudfeld and Brock Purdy under center. After the game, Lance put some of the blame on himself.

“Yeah, they’ve been doing a great job," Lance told reporters after the game. "Man, they did their job tonight. A couple ones I could have gotten the ball out faster for sure. Yeah, they're doing their thing, doing a great job and stacking days.”

Trey Sermon was held to eight carries for 20 yards while Jeff Wilson Jr. registered three carries for 16 yards. The rest of the running backs only were able to muster 15 additional yards on 13 carries.

The lack of a run game wasn’t the 49ers' only problem on offense, as the offensive line was noticeably vulnerable. Three false starts in a row at the end of the first half — two by Jaylon Moore and one by Keaton Sutherland, did not bode well for the group.

Moore, who had missed time with a lower leg injury, was not quite up to speed yet and seemingly was trying to knock the rust off mid-game. The swing tackle started out the game at left tackle with Aaron Banks next to him at left guard. Jake Brendel was seen at center with Spencer Burford at right guard and Colton McKivitz holding down the right tackle spot.

RELATED: How Lance looked in 49ers' preseason finale against Texans

Sutherland spent time at center and Jordan Mills stepped in at right tackle in the second half, but the production of the offense on the ground did not change.

With both Trent Williams and Mike McGlinchey inactive, the amount of experience on the offensive line was limited. Coach Kyle Shanahan has not finalized who will hold down the three interior positions, but believes that the experience they have had during the preseason is beneficial.

“It’s been sporadic each week,” Shanahan said Thursday after the game. “We’ve been mixing these young guys in there. It’s been good for them to get a lot of reps. You always want more but we’ve got 17 days here to Week 1."

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