ReFo: 49ers @ Rams, Week 6

Ben Stockwell analyzes the final game of Week 6 where a pair of key plays changed the face of the game for both teams.

| 3 years ago

ReFo: 49ers @ Rams, Week 6

2014-REFO-WK06-SF@STLAfter the Seattle Seahawks slipped up at home against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday it looked like the San Francisco 49ers would follow suit and gift the Arizona Cardinals a clear lead in the NFC West. Two key plays before the half would turn the tide against the Rams after they had so impressively built an 11 point lead as they went in search of their second win of the season.

A dubious offensive pass interference penalty on Jared Cook turned the Rams back from field goal range preventing them from extending their lead before an inexplicable decision in coverage by Janoris Jenkins saw Brandon Lloyd take in an 80 yard score to bring the game close before the half. From there the 49ers never looked back and clinched the victory with a pick six from Austin Davis in the final minute.

San Francisco 49ers – Performances of Note

Chris Borland, ILB, +3.7

Breakdown: Already without NaVorro Bowman, the 49ers lost Patrick Willis to a toe injury last night but his deputy was willing and able to step up coming in half way through the game. Borland didn’t register a single stop but got his hands to two passes in the contest. He also beat Rams’ offensive linemen for pressure on two of the five times he rushed the passer, only denied another by a quick throw on a third play.

Signature Play: Having been late to pick up coverage on a crossing route earlier in the fourth Borland rectified that with 5:04 left in the game, driving on the inside shoulder of Jared Cook to break up the pass and bring up fourth down.

Brandon Lloyd, WR, +1.0

Breakdown: Not much was asked of last night but he delivered the play’s defining game, capitalizing on some head scratching defense from Janoris Jenkins on his 80 yard score. That was Lloyd’s only target on 18 snaps having seen at least four targets in his three prior outings.

Signature Play: It was a relatively subtle double move that Jenkins should never have bitten on. Lloyd smoothly delivered it with 27 seconds remaining in the first half to race for his first six pointer of the season.

Ian Williams, NT, +3.4

Breakdown: Much was made of Glenn Dorsey’s loss in the offseason but it’s easy to forget that a year ago it was Dorsey who played at nose tackle as an injury replacement for Williams. Free from any competition Williams has shone this season, continuing his fine form last night by dominating Scott Wells en route to a six stop display in run defense.

Signature Play: Williams recorded his second stop of the game with 10:13 left in the first quarter, spinning off of Wells’ block to take down Zac Stacy for a one-yard loss.

St Louis Rams – Performances of Note

Jared Cook, TE, +2.0

Breakdown: A case of what might have been for both Cook and the Rams here. This should have been a big gain to extend their lead before the half but it was turned into a penalty and the rest is history. Cook also converted the Rams’ first third down of the game with a 36 yard gain and delivered another solid run blocking display, a much improved area of his game in recent weeks.

Signature Stat: After his gains in the first half the 49ers were much tighter on Cook in the second half with four different defenders breaking up passes intended for him.

Greg Robinson, LG, +1.0

Breakdown: A first start for the No. 2 overall pick produced a solid if unspectacular outing, particularly as a run blocker. There were a couple of issues in pass protection particularly picking up stunts and blitzers but you certainly saw the raw power and potential of Robinson as a run blocker in this game.

Signature Stat: Robinson’s 76 snaps saw him set in pass protection 50 times compared to 26 run blocking snaps as the Rams chased the game in the second half.

William Hayes, DE, +4.1

Breakdown: Robert Quinn had two quiet games against the 49ers a year ago and repeated that display last night. It was left to William Hayes to pick up the slack and he did just that. Registering seven pressures (1 Ht, 6 Hu) on 27 pass rushes and also added a pair of stops against the run including a tackle for loss with 8:14 left in the third.

Signature Stat: Taking advantage of a favorable matchup against Jonathan Martin, Hayes registered more pressure last night than he had managed in his first four appearances this season (5 Hu).

PFF Game Ball

His first season as a starter was cut short after just 13 snaps a year ago but Ian Williams is making his second chance count with last night’s display the latest in a string of impressive displays.


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| Director of Analysis

Ben joined Pro Football Focus in 2007, and has since been in charge of the company’s analysis process. He also contributes to PFF’s weekly NFL podcast.

  • sezaru

    ” but he delivered the play’s defining game”


    I did what you see there

  • Das Dweeb

    The injuries have to be the main concern for the Niners – they were already going to face Manning and Co. undermanned, but if PW can’t play, it’s very hard to imagine holding down that offense in any respectable fashion.

    But in this game, the offensive story was unusually good pass protection and unusually poor run-blocking – made all the worse by Roman’s characteristic insistence of running into 8- and 9-man boxes (and Kaep’s refusal to audible out of those calls). Also, two head-scratching deep handoffs led to predictable failures on 4th and 1s. The defensive story was that Fangio may have finally realized that it’s legal to pressure the passer. The Rams moved with alacrity until Fangio dialed up perhaps the most pressures he ever has with the Niners. Blitzes, stunts, even a couple of safety and corner blitzes – it was a beautiful thing to see, and it completely shut down the Rams’ offense.

    • Deelron

      The fourth and 1 call from the two wasn’t head scratching, if you make it the game is over with the TD and if you fail they have to go 98+ yards and you currently have a 2 score lead. I find the one from the STL 34 later much worse, take the FG and make the Rams score two TDs.

    • PetEng

      Willis hasnt exactly played great this year. He’s less of a factor than many people want to admit.

      • Das Dweeb

        I think we saw how much of a factor he was by his absence against Denver. That they threw on us was to be expected, considering the injuries and Fangio’s refusal to blitz. That they ran on us was indicative of how important PW is to this defense.

  • Bob Rand

    So you watched TV & mentioned the bad penalty twice, while on-screen the count was 17. Did the teams look even the last 3 quarters?

    • jody

      If you ever decide to watch a football game, you’ll understand what a precious thing momentum is. The refs changed the game on one call – from near certain field goal or possible touchdown for the Rams to an 80 yard bomb for the 9ers. That’s a 10-14 point swing against a team that was already owning SF.

  • Fuck You

    If you switched Kaepernick’s and Wilson’s performances this week PFF would have Wilson as their QB of the week and would have have graded Kaep around -6 or so.

    At this point I’m pretty sure Russell Wilson’s father would be more objective than you guys when his grading his film.

    • Pittsburgh Steve

      Niner class here.
      smh. Worse than Eagle fans, more fair weather than seahawk fans.

    • Chris

      I watch pretty much every Seahawks fans and I can’t help but notice his good games get graded so much higher than other QB’s good games and his really bad games don’t get graded nearly as harshly as other QB’s. I think it has more to do with the low volume (he’s not asked to do a lot) but it is interesting. He played one of the worst games I’ve seen from a QB and he was only at -2.4. They gave Kaepernick a worse grade for his game against the Chiefs. While I’m not arguing he even had a good game, anyone who watched that game and this latest Seahawks game can see which QB played poorly and which QB didn’t.

      • Chris

        Oops- meant game not fans lol

  • niners bitch

    no mention of kaep last night? this website is a joke

    • Dan

      Kaep choking in the playoffs is an even bigger joke.
      Wasting away that window.

      • PetEng

        4-2 playoff record is choking? Incorrect.

  • Izach

    It still shocks me every time I hear about Ian Williams guy was perfect fit at NT for a team yet everyone passed on him I loved that kid coming out shame the niners and not my steelers are the ones who figured it out

  • MosesZD

    I’m not exactly a Kapernick fan. But he actually had a good game and I’m surprised to see that he’s not being mentioned.

    I mean, really, 340+ yards, 3 TDs, no real mistakes, and he showed improvement on field reading and receiver selection plus he used touch when he should have, at least a few times, something he rarely did early in his career or college.

    And yet nothing?

    • PetEng

      Honestly felt like it was perhaps his most complete game outside of the Packers playoff demolition.
      380 yards of total offense, some great passes (and decisions) no turnovers. No help from the run game.
      Hard to see how the mistakes could undue the positives.

    • Elyk Rehctelf

      Dropped TD and dropped passes would have meant 400 and 4 td’s too.