49ers report card: Grades for offense, defense in 27-24 overtime win over Rams

Englewood – How would I describe the 49ers’ 27-24 victory over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday?

“It was an instant classic, for sure,” 49ers defensive lineman Eric Armstead said.

No argument here.

Perhaps the 49 players felt it would take 60 minutes of their best football of the season to go to SoFi Stadium and beat the Rams.

Well… let’s do the math… the first 29 minutes, 22 seconds was as bad as it can get for the 49ers.

But the last 30:38 of the regulations and 8:08 of overtime more than made up for it.

49s punched the match ticket with an unlikely win coming from behind.

Here’s the 49ers report card from one of the best regular season games in franchise history:

crime of rushing

Arenas did not come easily against the rams. But the 49ers kept running, and had some success and that helped them create other areas to attack.

Rookie Elijah Mitchell gained a tricky 85 yards in 21 lunge attempts. Receiver Deebo Samuel came in by 45 yards over eight rounds, including a 16-yard run touchdown on the 49ers’ first possession in the second half. That touchdown gave the 49ers momentum and hope.

Their running game was at its best in the next round, staying on the ground for 10 straight games. This helped set up a deceptive play that restricted the outcome (see Passing Attack).

Grade: A

pass offense

This was perhaps Jimmy Garoppolo’s best moment with 49 players.

Playing with a severe thumb injury, he quickly drove the 49ers down the field for match tie points at the end of regulation. The laser from Garoppolo to Samuel in a narrow window for a gain of 43 yards might be his best throw as a member of the 49ers. Next, he hit Jauan Jennings for a 14-yard touchdown.

Jennings had touchdown receptions to go along with his six catches for 94 yards. His first touchdown came after 10 consecutive plays, when Samuel sold a straight play right and threw a 24 yard touchdown to Jennings.

Garoppolo completed 23 of 32 passes for 316 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. He is designed to lead in the field to get the green light points in overtime.

Wide receiver Brandon Ayuk led the 49ers with six grabs for 107 yards. Samuel added four receptions for 95 yards.

Under normal circumstances, we will lower the score to the “B” band due to the intercepts. But the nature of that win was too good for us not to give the passing match our highest score.

It should be noted that the 49 players lined up without the left intervention of Trent Williams. Colton McKewitz stepped in and made his first-ever NFL start on a left tackle.

Grade: B-plus

hurried defense

The 49ers’ defense was great in the second half of the season. She was dominant against the Rams on Sunday.

Sony Michel, the Rams’ leading rusher, managed just 43 yards in 21 dash attempts at a weak 2.0. The Rams’ best play came from receiver Cooper Cobb, who was credited with the 18-yard dash on his campaign. But, overall, the Rams only gained 64 yards in 27 lunge attempts averaging 2.4 yards.

Linebacker Dre Greenlaw is back in play and came through with 12 tackles. Fred Warner had eight interventions.

The 49ers dominated the game up front. Eric Armstead, Nick Bossa and DJ Jones have made significant contributions to running defense. There was nowhere the Rams would run against the 49ers’ brave front six.

Grade: A

defense pass

This one had all the allotment of a blast from the start, as the Rams seemed determined to exploit issues in the 49ers defensive backcourt with Matthew Stafford regularly targeting Cobb.

Cornerback Dontae Johnson has been given the unenviable task of taking a step back with a passive K’Waun Williams. Williams was taken off the COVID list on Saturday, but he felt as if he couldn’t go.

The 49ers had to move a few pieces, and they put together a winning effort. Rookie corner player Ambry Thomas blocked the match in overtime. Emmanuel Moseley went back to work and was objected.

Stafford completed 15 of 16 passing attempts for 153 yards and two touchdowns in the first half.

The second half was an entirely different story. Stafford completed only 6 of 16 attempts for 85 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.

Armstead had 2.5 bags. Jones had a bag, while Bossa and Key Warner each contributed half a bag.

Grade: A

special teams

Again, this is one of those degrees that are taken into account.

Kicker Robbie Gould had a huge match, being pressured into kicking duties after Mitch Wishnowsky was forced out of the game due to a concussion. Gould averaged 45.0 yards on two points with no yardage. His standing after two minutes of warning from the organization ended up becoming a pivotal game.

He praised defender Kyle Juszczyk for stepping in and handling the responsibilities of holding the place. With Juszczyk’s contract, Gould hit field goals from 42 and 24 yards. He also nailed all three bonus points.

Grade: A


Coach Kyle Shanahan is taking the 49ers to the playoffs for the second time in three seasons, and this may be the most impressive game in his five seasons with the organization.

He kept the 49ers believing in him after trailing 17-0. It’s hard to believe there’s a team doing better at the end of the first half. The 49 players scored for the 10th time this season with 18 seconds or less of time remaining in the second quarter. Points in the last game of the first half gave the 49ers some hope of heading into the end of the first half.

Calling out offensive play was exceptional, and defense coordinator DeMeco Ryans had another masterful play as well.

Players on both sides of the ball bought the plans and executed in the clutch.

Grade: A


Of course, George Kittel was joking when he said he was part of a plan to fall behind by 17 points early in the game.

But that big deficit in the first half makes this victory over the NFC West champ, all the more impressive — and memorable.

Obviously, this was not a perfect match. The 49 players maintained their composure, showed toughness and put in all the big plays at the crucial moments.

And a big tip of the hat goes to all 49 fans who filled the stadium and made it look like a home match.

Grade: A

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