19 Oct Rams vs 49ers: Top Player Grades
Boy, that was one hell of a performance by the 49ers on Sunday Night Football against the Los Angeles Rams. The 49ers started out hot, and drove the ball down the field for a touchdown on their opening drive with a mixture of runs and passes. Minus a few stalled drives in the second half, they mostly did not look back after that. Let’s get into the grades!
Jimmy Garoppolo looked fantastic Sunday night. I mean really, it was prime Jimmy. He finished the game 23/33, 268 yards, 3 TDs, a passer rating of 124.3 & most importantly – ZERO turnovers. This was the type of game fans have been waiting for Jimmy to have all year. He showed it in the first half of the Jets game before getting injured, but it was nice to see him do it for a full game against a solid Rams defense. With all of that said, he still missed some easy throws and you could tell he still was not quite 100% as far as his ankle injury. I’d like to see him clean up these small mistakes moving forward and prove he is the guy. Now, if (and as of now, it’s a big if) Jimmy Garoppolo can sustain this level of play as the 49ers continue on to their next 6 games against tough matchups, the 49ers should be in every game.
George Kittle continues to play like a man possessed. He finished the night with 109 yards on 7 catches, with 1 TD coming on a beautiful 4th down catch & run! He had 10 targets on the night and although he had a couple of drops, Kittle yet again was the best player on both offenses on the field. You can’t really expect much more from Kittle going forward, except eliminating the couple drops he had.
Talk about impressive! Jason Verrett has put together a string of really impressive performances in the last few weeks. This is the Verrett the 49ers envisioned when they signed him in free agency a year ago. We saw on Sunday night just how good the 49ers defense is when they have a couple of solid corners in there. Verrett’s man coverage skills are unmatched on this team, and they suffer greatly when he isn’t on the field. If Verrett continues to show he is the guy the team thought he was, it turns out to be a brilliant signing by Lynch & Co. He had an interception in the endzone that showcased his footwork skills. That interception also took points off the board for the Rams. I’m really excited to see what Verrett can do going forward.
Outside of George Kittle, Raheem Mostert is the best player on offense for the 49ers. The offensive line (which will be discussed shortly), who couldn’t open a hole for a hamster to run through the last few weeks, suddenly looked like the 2019 version. Mostert does a lot to make them look good, as his speed and vision is simply unmatched on the team. It became apparent when Mostert left the game with an ankle injury — the team couldn’t do anything on offense. Drives stalled, Jet McKinnon got stuffed repeatedly & the 49ers lost a lot of momentum. Hopefully Mostert’s ankle injury is not going to cause him to miss an extended period of time, because this team needs him to win.
Daniel Brunskill & the Entire 49ers Offensive Line
Did you know Aaron Donald was inactive for the Rams on Sunday Night? Oh wait *checks notes*, he wasn’t? Well, you could’ve fooled me! Daniel Brunskill had the former defensive MVP’s number all night. This was largely due to Jimmy Garoppolo getting the ball out in 2.5 seconds or less on the majority of his throws. How do you neutralize Donald? You do so by getting the ball out as fast as possible and not even giving him a chance to blow up the quarterback. Most importantly, the unit gave up ZERO sacks! That is astonishing given how they had performed up until this game. I’m not sure if they got chewed out all week in practice or what, but whatever the team did, it worked. They were opening up running lanes big enough for the backs to have success, although it was mainly with Mostert back there. I still want to see them open up holes for the other backs on this team regularly. Regardless, this is the type of performance the team needs the offensive line to have if they want to have any chance of making the playoffs. As for tonight though, bravo gentlemen!
I swear, I can put Fred Warner at the top of this list after every game! He is the best middle linebacker in the game without a doubt. His sideline-to-sideline speed is ridiculous! I said it in our post-game livestream — no matter where the ball is, Fred Warner is almost always right there. He is the leader of this defense and the 49ers are extremely lucky to have him. Put some respect on Fred’s name!
Grab our latest YAC Bros design today & save 20% off your entire purchase with code HIVE20! Grab it here!
The mastermind himself. Kyle Shanahan, cheers to you sir. The offensive performance by the 49ers was 100% due to Kyle Shanahan’s gameplan. I was happy when the Rams won the coin toss because it forced the 49ers to start on offense and implement their gameplan, and that’s exactly what they did. Kyle got back to the basics Sunday night, and it paid off. The 49ers have a good chance in every game as long as Kyle coaches like he did tonight. Hats off, coach!
Notable Mentions: Dre Greenlaw, Emmanuel Moseley, JaMychal Hasty, Jimmie Ward & Deebo Samuel.