SF-STL grades: Rams' defense leads the way in win
Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Rams’ 27-6 win over the 49ers.
San Francisco 49ers
– QB Colin Kaepernick (-6.5) continued to showcase his inability to get anything going offensively. His passing grade of -8.1 was the lowest of the week by a long shot. He rarely attempted passes that traveled 10+ yards in the air, and when he did, he struggled, completing only 2-of-11 for 49 yards. Kaepernick was under pressure on 36 percent of his dropbacks, and was a mere 3-for-13 for 12 yards when under pressure. He did finish with a positive rushing grade, but that’s never been an issue for Kaepernick. His throws were all over the place in this game, and at this point, it’s worth questioning if he really gives the 49ers the best chance to win.
– CB Tramaine Brock (+1.0) had a good day in pass coverage, finishing with a coverage grade of +1.7. He was targeted five times, but allowed only two completions for 14 yards. He also had a beautiful pass breakup. S Jaquiski Tartt (+2.9) also had a solid day for the 49ers’ defense, finishing with a team-high grade. He finished with a +1.9 in coverage, thanks to a couple of big stops for minimal gain, and a forced fumble. He also had a positive run defense grade. Overall, the 49ers had solid pass defense on the day, allowing the Rams to complete only 14-of-22 attempts for 206 yards and one touchdown.
– The 49ers’ offensive line looked completely overmatched the entire game against a strong Rams’ defensive line. Only one offensive lineman had a positive grade: T Erik Pears (+0.3). It was a rough day for G Alex Boone (-6.8), who allowed two QB hits and two pressures, and was blown up multiple times in the run game. Same goes for G Jordan Devey (-5.8). The 49ers’ rushing attack finished with a paltry 18 yards on 17 attempts, and much of that was due to the poor offensive line play.
S Jaquiski Tartt (+2.9)
OLB Corey Lemonier (+1.2)
CB Kenneth Acker (+1.1)
TE Vance McDonald (+1.1)
CB Tramaine Brock (+1.0)
St. Louis Rams
– The Rams’ defensive line stole the show in this one, led by DT Aaron Donald (+6.6) and DE Robert Quinn (+6.1). They were all over the field making plays, especially when it came to rushing the passer. By the end of the game, the two had combined for a sack, four QB hits, and six hurries. But they also were stout against the run, finishing with +2.6 and +1.8 run defense grades, respectively. After a few weeks of below-average (by their standards) play, this game was more what everyone is used to seeing from these two star players.
– RB Todd Gurley (+1.5) showed his speed on his 71-yard touchdown run, where he went untouched thanks to him absolutely exploding through the hole and outrunning the second-level defenders of the 49ers—all the way to the end zone. But take away that run, and the 49ers’ defense held him to only 62 yards on 19 attempts. He didn’t get much help from his offensive line, as they finished with a combined -12.7 grade, including -9.6 when it came to run blocking. Offensively, the Rams were not great, as they struggled to move the ball, aside from their two long-touchdown plays.
– It was a great day in coverage for the Rams’ trio of S Mark Barron (+4.0), LB Akeem Ayers (+2.0), and CB Janoris Jenkins (+3.4). Barron was targeted eight times, but allowed only three receptions for 19 yards. He also had one pass breakup. Ayers only saw four targets, and allowed two of them to be caught, for a mere 4 yards. But it was his three passes defended (he had one when he wasn’t the primary coverage) that gave him his team-high +3.9 coverage grade. Finally, Jenkins was targeted five times, and allowed just one catch for 3 yards, and a pass defended. It was a good day for a unit that allowed only 162 yards on 39 attempts.
DT Aaron Donald (+6.6)
DE Robert Quinn (+6.1)
S Mark Barron (+4.0)
CB Janoris Jenkins (+3.4)
LB Akeem Ayers (+2.0)