Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta's offensive line played about as well as you could have expected it to play against the 49ers' dominant defensive front seven that could be the best group in football.
A long-time Falcons fan commented to me offline during the game that he believed Lamar Holmes was playing like a poor-man's version of former Falcons tackle Bob Whitfield.
I think that comparison could prove to have some merit based on what we've seen from Holmes this year because like Whitfield in his day, Holmes has plenty of physical tools, and he can actually be a very effective pass-protector when he's engaged in the game mentally and not committing costly penalties.
On the right side of the line, Ryan Schraeder fought hard even though a defender put him on his tail on one third-down passing play.
I've been tough on this group all season, and even though it allowed some pressure last night, it didn't let San Francisco's front seven dictate this game the way I thought it would.
Falcons fans should leave Week 16 feeling a little better about this group's ability to pass block as long as Atlanta's brain trust doesn't use the unit's performance against the 49ers as justification for staying with the status quo up front this offseason.
The line still has to get a lot better as a group (especially at right guard) in the ground game, and it still probably needs to add another tackle to play on the right side.