Grading 49ers’ offense, defense in hard-fought Week 2 win over Rams

Grading 49ers’ offense, defense in hard-fought Week 2 win over Rams originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

INGLEWOOD — The Rams did not run away and hide from their star-studded intrastate NFC West rival as might have been expected.

The 49ers came on strong in the second half to secure a 30-23 victory over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday at SoFi Stadium.

It was exactly the type of game San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan said he expected.

“Oh, yeah, we definitely did,” Shanahan said. “We watched the film from last week. That quarterback (Matthew Stafford) is still just as good as he’s always been, and so is Aaron Donald.

“They’re coached very well and have two good schemes.”

The 49ers were not perfect on offense or defense. But they won the turnover battle, and that allowed the 49ers to build a second-half lead.

Here are the grades from the 49ers’ Week 2 win over the Rams:

Rushing offense

The 49ers got rushing touchdowns from three different players: a running back, wide receiver and quarterback.

Christian McCaffrey again led the way with 116 yards and a touchdown on 20 attempts. After his 152-yard performance in Week 1, it was the first time he’s hit 100 or more in back-to-back games with the 49ers.

Trent Williams, Aaron Banks and receiver Ronnie Bell provided key blocks on McCaffrey’s 14-yard scoring run.

Quarterback Brock Purdy had a huge play at the end of the first half when he scored on a quarterback sneak as time ran out. That pulled the 49ers into a 17-17 tie at halftime.

Deebo Samuel added 38 yards on five rushing attempts. He took a lateral from Brock Purdy and turned it into a fourth-quarter touchdown run of 11 yards.

Grade: A

Passing offense

Purdy missed three opportunities for big plays when he overshot deep pass attempts for Brandon Aiyuk, Jauan Jennings and Samuel.

Purdy made enough plays, however, to enable the 49ers to move down the field to score 30 points.

He completed 17 of 25 passes for 206 yards. Most important, Purdy did not commit any turnovers.

Right tackle Colton McKivitz and the rest of the 49ers’ pass protection held up just fine. Purdy was sacked just once for zero yards.

Samuel was the 49ers’ leading receiver with six receptions for 63 yards.

Grade: B-minus

Rushing defense

The Rams did not suit up veteran running back Cam Akers, opting to go with second-year player Kyren Williams.

Williams managed a 3.7-yard average on 14 rushes but had a touchdown.

The Rams averaged 4.0 yards per rushing attempt with their best gainer coming from wide receiver Ben Skowronek, who gained 11 yards on his only rushing attempt.

Dre Greenlaw and Fred Warner led the way with 12 and 11 tackles, respectively.

Grade: B

Passing defense

It looked as if the Rams were tearing apart the 49ers’ defense. And while Stafford had a lot of success in the first half, the 49ers clearly won that battle over the course of the game.

The 49ers were much “stickier” in their zone coverage in the second half. Nickel back Isaiah Oliver had a crucial interception when the Rams were marching toward taking the lead in the third quarter.

Deommodore Lenoir also picked off Stafford.

Stafford completed 34 of 55 passes for 307 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. His passer rating was a lowly 67.8.

Rookie receiver Puka Nacua had a dynamic game with 15 receptions on the 20 passes Stafford threw his way for 147 yards.

Although the 49ers did not generate much consistent pressure, Warner came through with a big third-down sack in the third quarter.

Grade: B-plus

Special teams

Remember when rookie Jake Moody was such a concern during the preseason?

Well, in the 49ers first two regular-season games, he is looking solid (or more solid) as a third-round draft pick.

Moody connected on a 57-yarder in the third quarter that gave the 49ers a 20-17 lead. He made all three of his field goals and all three of his extra points.

His only flub was kicking the ball out of bounds to allow the Rams to start a possession at the 35-yard line in the first half.

Grade: A


Defensive coordinator Steve Wilks made great adjustments after the 49ers’ defense could not get off the field in the first half.

The 49ers called more run blitzes on base downs, then applied more man-to-man coverage to limit the number of easy pitch-and-catch opportunities for Stafford and his receivers.

Shanahan made the correct call by going for the touchdown at the end of the first half.

The 49ers scored 30 points for the second game in a row. They had a plan to neutralize Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald, and there were open receivers running down the field on several occasions.

Grade: A


The 49ers are the only NFC West team to be undefeated after two games, and there is plenty to clean up.

Offense, defense and special teams certainly were not perfect. But each phase of the team made major contributions to the road victory.

Grade: B-plus

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