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.
ReFo: 49ers @ Rams, Week 6
After 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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Ben Stockwell | 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.