Niners Live delivered on a short week the: Pregame Marquee Match ups and Storylines to watch vs. The Los Angeles Rams. And now we drop our post-game recap and another reality check: Carlos Hyde and the offense came to play; Did the defense get exposed?
The San Francisco 49ers hosted the Rams in their own backyard at Levi’s Stadium and it was a thrilling and entertaining game to watch. However, the 49ers came up short; Final score 39 to 41 Rams. Unfortunately, the defense didn’t come to play, or even show up to the dance to help their offense and special teams unit.
Defense, the Lowlights with no Extreme Violence
- Aaron Lynch didn’t record a single stat (NON-FACTOR). Shares the responsibility for giving up a 100-yard rusher and 41 points.
- Jimmie Ward accounted for seven solo tackles total and one tackle for loss. Ward was flagged for unnecessary roughness and shares the responsibility for giving up two 100-yard receivers and 41 points.
- Ray-Ray Armstrong accounted for six tackles total and four coming solo and one tackle for loss and missed tackles while displaying a lack of discipline all over the field. Shares the responsibility for giving up a 100-yard rusher and 41 points.
- Earl Mitchell accounted for four tackles, one being solo, 0.5 for a tackle for loss and no sacks or QB hits. Shares the responsibility for giving up a 100-yard rusher and 41 points.
- Arik Armstead, accounted for one tackle total and no sack or QB hits. Shares the responsibility for giving up a 100-yard rusher and 41 points.
- K’Waun Williams had seven tackles, one being solo. Shares the responsibility for giving up two 100-yard receivers, a 100-yard rusher, and 41 points. Williams was getting burnt early and often.
- Tank Carradine had two solo tackles total, one QB hit, and no sacks. Left the game with an injury, but still shares the responsibility for giving up a 100-yard rusher and 41 points.
- Solomon Thomas, the prize #3 overall pick in the draft, recorded one solo tackle total and no sacks or QB hits. He shares the responsibility for giving up a 100-yard rusher and 41 points.
- NaVorro Bowman had four total tackles, one being solo, and missed tackles. Shares the responsibility for giving up a 100-yard rusher and 41 points. Bowman looks like a liability in coverage and against the run.
- DeForest Buckner accounted for five solo tackles total and one QB hit. Had no impact plays in the game and shares the responsibility for giving up a 100-yard rusher and 41 points.
- Elvis Dumervil, didn’t record a single stat (NON-FACTOR). Shares the responsibility for giving up a 100-yard rusher and 41 points.
- Jaquiski Tartt finished with seven total tackles, one being solo and one pass defended. Left the game with what appeared to be a concussion. Shares the responsibility for giving up two 100-yard receivers, a 100-yard rusher, and 41 points.
- Dontae Johnson accounted for three tackles, two being solo. Was beat several times and had a pass interference called against him. Shares the responsibility for giving up two 100-yard receivers and 41 points. (Rams rotated Watkins and Woods to both sides).
- Rashard Robinson had six solo tackles, four being solo and was beat several times and had a pass interference called against him. Shares the responsibility for giving up two 100-yard receivers and 41 points. (Rams rotated Watkins and Woods to both sides).
- Dekoda Watson accounted for one solo tackle total. Non-factor and shares the responsibility for giving up a 100-yard rusher and 41 points.
- Ahkello Witherspoon was inactive.
- Eli Harold had two solo tackles total and one tackle for a loss; shares the responsibility for giving up a 100-yard rusher and 41 points.
- Brock Coyle had one solo tackle total. Coyle left with a concussion and before that, he was a non-factor and shares the responsibility for giving up a 100-yard rusher and 41 points.
- Lorenzo Jerome had one QB hit in the stat line (non-factor) and shares the responsibility for giving up two 100-yard receivers, a 100-yard rusher, and 41 points (stats courtesy of ESPN.com).
Defensive Summary Breakdown
The 49ers Defense forced zero turnovers. However, their special teams unit forced (2) which tied the Rams (2) in the turnover battle including no sacks and only three QB hits. The defense allowed 418 yards of total offense on 60 plays and allowed the Rams to go 5 out of 7 in the red zone. The 49ers’ defense gave up their first 100-yard rusher of the season in Todd Gurley who accounted for 113 yards rushing on 28 carries for a 4.0 average per rush. The Rams’ offense went 8 of 12 on third down and totaled (26) first downs in the game (14) passing, (7) rushing, (5) by way of penalties. The 49ers’ defense allowed quarterback Jared Goff to complete 22/28 for 292 yards for three touchdowns at 10.4 per pass play while generating a QBR 92.3 and a passer rating of 145.8 (summary stats courtesy of ESPN.com).
Important to note: The 49ers’ defense has given up 730 yards in the last two weeks. And The
#49ers D got pressure on Jared Goff on just 8 of his 28 drop backs, according to @PFF. DC Robert Saleh blitzed him just five times (via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area).
Let’s look a little deeper: The Rams’ offensive line and skill positions/weapons (rank 10th in offense prior to this match-up and now are ranked 6th) and are light years better than the Seattle Seahawks’ offensive line and skill positions who were ranked 24th in total offense and now rank 27th.
The Carolina Panthers were ranked 23rd in total offense when they played the 49ers in week one and now they rank 26th (Per NFL.com).
Can you see it?
Curveball alert: Now factor in the 49ers’ defense that had 79 plays ran on them last week at the hands of the Seahawks and were playing on a short week. Think that may have also played a factor in this game? NaVorro Bowman thinks so: “I think it had a huge effect on my body … There’s no way I felt the way I felt on Sunday today” (Via Eric Branch of the SF Chronicle).
In the end, no excuses and no moral victories– the 49ers face a better offensive line and weapons at the skill positions and a special featured back in Gurley to go along with a short week, which didn’t help matters at all. Simply put, they got exposed for a lack of pass rush/stopping the run, the inability to get off the field on third downs, and cover talented and physical wide receivers and defend against an offensive scheme that can and did exploit them early and often. Are your eyes wide open?
Offense, the Highlights
- Carlos Hyde had 25 carries for 84 yards at 3.4 yards a pop along with two TD”s. Hyde also chipped in three catches for 10 yards on four targets at 3.3 yards per catch. Hyde had 61 yards come after contact.
- Matt Breida had three catches for 20 yards at 6.7 yards per catch on four targets (makes both lists).
- Marquise Goodwin – what deep threat? That’s been the talk the last two weeks. This week you got to see a deep threat finally make a contribution, unfortunately, it didn’t amount to a win, but Goodwin did have two catches for first downs one being a 50 yarder and the other for 12 yards drag/toe and catch for a 31.0 per catch average all coming late in the second half.
- Brian Hoyer went 23 of 37 for 332 yards at 9.0 yards per pass play, two (passing) touchdowns, one (rushing TD), one interception while generating a total QBR of 66.2, and a passer rating of 98.0. Hoyer did throw an interception on his first pass of the game and he did have some throws he wishes he could have back like when he overthrew Pierre Garcon on the left side of the field that sailed out of bounds. However, Hoyer helped lead the 49ers’ offense with key plays and throws down the stretch/field to post 39 points on offense.
- Trent Taylor had three catches for 32 yards on four targets (averaging 10.7 yards a catch) and one touchdown. Taylor had a drop and one offensive pass interference call.
- Pierre Garcon had seven catches for 142 yards on 10 targets at 20.3 per catch. Garcon was simply sensational with timely clutch/toe dragging catches at big moments of the game and his emotion and passion inspired the whole offense especially the receiving corps.
- Garrett Celek had one catch for one yard but it was for a touchdown and he also added two tackles on special teams.
- Kyle Juszczyk, the $20 million fullback, had one catch for 34 yards and strong blocking before he went out with a neck injury/concussion. Note: Juice was called for holding.
- The entire offensive line makes (both lists): The 49ers’ O-line helped generate 421 total yards of offense. Hoyer passed for 308 yards and Hyde ran for 84 yards for two TD’s at 3.4 yards per rush.
Offense, the Lowlights
- Aldrick Robinson had two catches for 23 yards on five targets at 11.5 yards per catch but did have a drop in this game.
- Raheem Mostert had four rushes for 11 yards at 2.8 yards per rush and one fumble.
- Matt Breida had three rushes for nine yards at 3.0 yards per rush.
- George Kittle had one catch for eight yards and a key drop on third and long.
- The entire offensive line makes (both list): The 49ers’ O-line gave up four sacks (one by Trent Brown) and seven QB hits and a false start on Joe Staley and a holding penalty as well credited to the O-line.
Offensive Summary Breakdown
The 49ers had (25) first downs (7) rushing, (15) passing (3) penalties; converting on third down 9 out of 18 times and 2 out of 3 on 4th down and were 5 out of 6 in the red zone. The 49ers accounted for 74 plays for 421 yards – 308 coming from the passing game and 113 by way of the ground game that averaged 3.4 yards per carry for the game. The 49ers had 10 penalties for 55 yards and it could be an even split between the offense and the defense — but the offensive pass interference call at the end of the game stands out the most glaring.
The time of possession was almost dead even, SF 30:17 and Rams 29:43. The 49ers’ offensive line gave up four sacks and seven QB hits. The Rams’ defense was on the field against the Washington Redskins last week for 36:19 and had 68 plays ran against them for a total of 385 yards (229 of that coming from the ground game) something Rams CB Nickell Robey-Coleman was asked about after the game. And as aforementioned, tack on 74 plays in this game on a short week and the fact that Rams’ defensive coordinator Wade Phillips elected to stick with his game plan and scheme and play mostly man coverage against the 49ers’ pass catchers, advantaged the 49ers’ offense which was able to expose the Rams’ defense. Their defense played without starting cornerback Kayvon Webster and starting free safety/slot nickel back Lamarcus Joyner who left the game early in the first half due to injury.
Niners Live thoughts
Quarterback Brian Hoyer who overall had a bounce-back game made the Rams pay for playing tight man coverage (something Hoyer points to via the team’s website) with the likes of wideouts; Pierre Garcon, Marquise Goodwin, and Trent Taylor. Along with a Rams’ slowed down/stagnate pass rush in the (second half) in key stretches of the game — Hoyer and the offense confidence grew as they continued to slug it out in an offensive explosion that came up short late with a missed 2-point conversion attempt to tie the game.
The 49ers would get the ball back on an onside kick and attempt to march down the field, but after a questionable offensive pass interference call on Trent Taylor and a sack by Aaron Donald, the 49ers’ late rally would come to an end.
Both defensive units, the 49ers and the Rams, came in behind the eight ball and this game was destined to be a shoot-out (whoever had the better offense/weapons, conditioning, and a defense that could hold up and make enough plays was going to win this game). Therefore, the Rams prevailed.
Carlos Hyde and the Offense came to play; Did the Defense get Exposed?
Hyde, Hoyer and the offense overall overcame some adversity within this game from a thrown interception, to a hip injury, drops, some inaccurate throws, to the loss of their starting fullback “Juice” only to go toe-to-toe with the Rams offensively (showing grit and resolve) with the help of their special teams unit that provided three turnovers; one onside kick (Robbie Gould ) and recovery (Mostert) and two recoveries on a kick (Victor Bolden Jr.) and punt return (Kyle Nelson).
Did the Defense get Exposed?
Yes, they did. Jared Goff was not sacked and only had three hits on him the whole game, in fact, they might have been love taps because he was able to sit back in the pocket (un-phased and un-rattled) even after losing his starting center while continuing to play comfortably the whole game and picking the secondary off at will like it was target practice at the O.K. Corral, no pun intended. The defense couldn’t stop Gurley on the ground or in the air and had no answer for the Rams plethora of weapons in Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins, both of whom went over 100 yards receiving with Watkins scoring two TD’s himself. This defense didn’t force a turnover, got manhandled up front/on the back-end and had several missed tackles on every level of the defense and gave up 41 points in the same breath.
Defensive grade for the whole unit and DC Robert Saleh
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All records, statistics, and accolades are courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com, Pro Football Focus, 49ers.com, ESPN.com, NFL.com unless otherwise indicated. Author, Content Creator, Editor, Sequoia Sims .