They say you win football games in the trenches — San Francisco has proven that old adage this season.
The 49ers general manager Trent Baalke has built his football team the right way, focusing on the offensive and defensive lines first, then building around those pieces. His defensive line was the best in football last year, and this year the offensive line has followed suit.
In the 2010 draft, Baalke’s first in charge of player personnel, the 49ers spent two first round picks — No. 11 and No. 17 overall — on the offensive line. They took left tackle Anthony Davis out of Rutgers and left guard Mike Iupati out of Idaho. Right tackle Joe Staley has been with the team since being drafted in the first round in 2007. Center Jonathan Goodwin was signed as a free agent last year after starting for the Saints for three years and right guard Alex Boone was a tremendous find as an undrafted free agent in 2009.
Those five players have done an excellent job at giving Alex Smith time to throw. ...