Question: How good are the 49ers defensive linemen? I know they don't have much pass rush. Can they stop the run?
-- Gary Vian, Sacramento
Answer: They're pretty good at stopping the run. In the first half of Sunday's game against the Vikings, the 49ers mainly played a seven- (instead of eight) man front because they didn't want to be beaten on any long pass plays. As a result, Minnesota running back Chester Taylor was able to run for 61 yards in the first half. For some reason, the Vikings didn't run as much in the second, and he finished with 96 yards.
-- Matt Barrows
Question: What do you think the chances are of the infamous #77 Kwame Harris losing his starting spot on the offensive line? There's been quite a few frustrating occassions when the 49ers make a big play, only to be brought back because of a holding penalty on #77. Not to mention the sacks he gives up, I think two in the Chicago game, one leading to a turnover. Do you think coach Nolan will give Adam Snyder a shot at holding down that right tackle position, which seems to be the achilles heel of that offensive line?
-- Jhuri, Folsom
Answer: I think slowly but surely Snyder will start to take over that right tackle spot. He and Harris essentially split time there against the Vikings (Harris had four more snaps) but neither played particularly well.
I watched Snyder get beat a couple of times, although Alex Smith was able to wriggle free on each occassion. Still, Snyder has been more steady than Harris and he certainly doesn't have Harris' reputation for untimely penalties.
Another reason Synder might overtake Harris on the right side is that Jonas Jennings has been playing well on the left. Coach Nolan didn't like it when Jennings missed a couple of games earlier this year. A few weeks ago, Nolan announced that Snyder would push both Harris and Jennings for their starting spots, a surprise considering that Jennings was a marquee free-agent pick-up and one of the team's captains. Jennings got the message and played well against the Bears and Vikings.
-- Matt Barrows