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Grades from the 49ers 30-23 win over the Rams



Week 2 wasn't as pretty as Week 1, but in the end the result was the same. That's the mark of a truly great team.


Brock Purdy: B

Brock Purdy is human after all. In arguably his worst game as a starting quarterback, Purdy uncharacteristically missed three receivers that were wide ass open for big plays. Since taking over for Jimmy Garoppolo, Purdy had always hit the open guy, but not on Sunday.


That said, this was his worst game with the 49ers and he was still 17 of 25 for 206 yards and (most importantly) zero turnovers. He also managed the game perfectly, including a masterful touchdown drive just before the half that ended with a QB sneak as time expired. The score tied the game at 17 and took away any momentum the Rams might have had going into the locker room.


Christian McCaffrey: A

The man just keeps busting big ass runs. In Week 1 he ran for a 65 yard touchdown, in Week 2 McCaffrey broke free for a 51 yard dash that ended with him planting former 49er Ahkello Whitherspoon 6 feet into the ground.


CMC finished with 23 touches for 135 yards and a touchdown - his second straight game over 100 yards from scrimmage this year.


Including the postseason, McCaffrey has scored at least one TD in 11 straight games, which is the longest active streak of any NFL player and the 2nd-longest streak by a member of the 49ers (Jerry Rice scored in 12 straight games in 1987).


He also played 100% of the 49ers offensive snaps. With a game four days away against the Giants, hopefully Shanahan gives Elijah Mitchell more carries.


Wide Receivers: B+

Deebo Samuel was the standout in the group - which is nothing new against the Rams. Samuel gained 100+ yards from scrimmage for the 5th straight time against them, and added a rushing touchdown. Jauan Jennings actually missed a block on that rushing TD but it didn't even matter because Samuel made three guys miss and barreled into the end zone for his 8th touchdown in 8 career games against the Rams. So far in two games this season, Deebo has 164 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown.


Jauan Jennings may have missed that block, but he ended up having a productive day anyway. He also helped spring McCaffrey for his explosive play early in the game, and made a hell of a contested catch on a deep ball from Purdy for a 31 yard gain.


Brandon Aiyuk came out of the gate strong, but injured his left shoulder after a reception and was in and out of the game throughout the rest of the day. Kyle Shanahan said the injury wasn't serious after the game, but we all know that's about as useful as a crap flavored lolly pop. We should find out more after Shanahan's conference call with the media on Monday.


Steve Wilks: B

This game was a tale of two halves. In the first half, the Rams used quick passes to neutralize the 49ers' pass rush and matriculate the ball down the field against soft zone coverage. LA scored on every possession in the first half and Stafford was barely (if ever) touched.


In the second half, the 49ers adjusted by blitzing more often and using tighter coverage on the outside. That forced Stafford to hold the ball longer and gave the pass rush a chance to disrupt the play, which they did:

The change paid off. The Rams' second half possessions went as follows: Punt, INT, punt, field goal, INT, turnover on downs, field goal.


Defensive Line: B-

I was going to give this unit a C, but then I looked at the Rams' rushing totals and had to bump them up to a B-.


While the quick passing game may have slowed down the pass rush, the 49ers were stout against the run, holding the Rams to 4 yards per carry (which was bolstered by an 11 yard jet sweep by WR Ben Skowronek).


As for the pass, the unit had0 sacks and 5 QB hits on the day - including 3 from Nick Bosa. After the game Bosa told reporters he needed a couple games to get back into football shape, and should be much better moving forward. To his credit, Bosa always pressured Matthew Stafford multiple times and drew a couple of holding penalties as well.


Linebackers: B-

For the first time it felt like the 49ers' defense lacked intensity right out of the gate. Normally Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw are flying around like madmen and separating players' souls from their bodies.


On Sunday the quick passes from the Rams stopped them from getting any momentum and really took the wind out of 54 and 57's sails.


Greenlaw did draw a ticky-tack unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, but Fred Warner made up for it later in the day by sacking Matthew Stafford on a critical third down.


Secondary: B+

This unit was taking a beating in the first half, but I think that had more to do with scheme than anything else. Once the 49ers shrunk the cushion and blitzed more, the DBs looked much better.


Ambry Thomas continued to have a tough go of it, but his replacement Isaiah Oliver made multiple key plays later in the game. First, Oliver tackled a Rams ball-carrier in the open field just short of the marker to end LA's first drive of the 2nd half. On the following possession, he caught a tipped ball for an interception at the 49ers' 25 yard line that kept points off the board. Finally, he helped blow up a 4th and short run that gave the ball back to San Francisco just before the two minute warning.


Oliver needed a game like this to reward the 49ers' faith in him this offseason. Let's hope it's the first of many such games.


Special Teams: A

The Rams only had one kick return and one punt return, but the 49ers covered both well (which was not the case last week).


Jake Moody was outstanding for the second straight week, hitting 3 field goals and 3 extra points on the day. He became just the 5th kicker to ever hit 6+ FGs and 6+ XPTs without a miss in his first two career games. Oh by the way, one of the field goals was a 57 yarder that was looming large before the Niners opened up a two score lead. Moody's only blemish on the day was kicking the ball out of bounds following a Niners' field goal, which gave LA the ball on their own 40 to start their drive.


Shoutout to Mitch Wishnowsky as well, who had 4 punts on the day for 197 yards. Two were downed inside the 20 and one travelled a staggering 67 yards.

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