Led by a steady effort from their offensive line, the San Francisco 49ers held off the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday night en route to a 13-6 victory at home. The 49ers scored on a third quarter touchdown pass reception by Delanie Walker (Central Missouri State),to improve their record to 5-2 and maintain first place honors in the NFC West. The 49ers offense gained 313 total yards on the night with a 5.5 yard per play average. With Week 5 and Week 7 honors, the 49ers offensive line is a strong contender for the fourth annual Madden Most Valuable Protectors Award.
The Madden Most Valuable Protectors Award recognizes the backbone of every NFL team…the offensive line. John Madden, for whom the Award is named, has been praising these unsung heroes for decades and serves as the ambassador for this unique Award, honoring the best Offensive Line in the National Football League. The Award serves to celebrate the loyal teammates in the trenches that most consistently provide the time and protection that is critical to their teammates’ and overall team’s success.
“The 49ers offensive line needed to step up against Seattle’s defense and they did just that,” said Pro Football Hall of Fame Coach John Madden.
The 2012 Madden Most Valuable Protectors Award winner will be announced during the week of Super Bowl XLVII, which will be played on February 3, 2013 in New Orleans. Past Madden Most Valuable Protectors Award recipients include the New Orleans Saints (2009, 2011) and the New England Patriots (2010).
Week 7 starters in the trenches for the 49ers included tackles Joe Staley (Central Michigan) and Anthony Davis (Rutgers); guards Mike Iupati (Idaho) and Alex Boone (Ohio State); and center Jonathan Goodwin (Michigan). Tim Drevno, who served as a member of Jim Harbaugh’s coaching staff at Stanford from 2007-2010, and Mike Solari serve as the offensive line coaches for the 49ers. Both coaches are serving their second season with the team. With the win, the 49ers improved their home record to 3-1. The offensive line led the 49ers to 175 yards rushing. The rushing attack was led by Frank Gore (Miami-Fla.) who had 16 carries for 131 yards, averaging 8.2 yards per carry. This balance on offense helped the 49ers win the time of possession battle by a +3 minute margin. The offensive line provided great protection for Alex Smith (Utah) who dropped back 23 times throwing for 140 yards and a touchdown. The offensive line had only 2 penalties during game.
Other offensive lines from around the league delivering powerful protection during Week 7 were the New York Giants (393 total yards, 329 passing yards, 64 rushing yards, 1 sack allowed, 6 hits on QB allowed), the Dallas Cowboys (312 total yards, 227 passing yards, 85 rushing yards, 0 sacks allowed, 0 hits on QB allowed), the Tennessee Titans (390 total yards, 193 passing yds, 197 rushing yds, 2 sacks allowed, 5 hits on QB allowed), the New England Patriots (381 total yards, 250 passing yds, 131 rushing yds, 1 sack allowed, 2 hits on QB allowed), and the New Orleans Saints (458 total yards, 377 passing yds, 81 rushing yds, 0 sacks allowed, 0 hits on QB allowed).
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