49ers Week 6 Offensive Grades
The Niners were going to be at a bit of a disadvantage in Week 6, down some key starters for the contest, which included fullback Kyle Juszczyk (knee) and both starting tackles, Joe Staley (leg) and Mike McGlinchey (knee).
Juszczyk’s absence figured to put a dent in San Francisco’s ground game, and it did. But only to a certain point. And while the 49ers offense wasn’t totally clicking, one can see how a few cleaned-up mistakes turned the other way could have made this game a blowout in San Francisco’s favor.
As said, Jimmy Garoppolo wasn’t at his best on Sunday. Overall, he went 24-of-33 for 243 yards with one rushing touchdown and an interception tossed.
The pick, which seemed inexplicable at the time, raised some question marks:
Garoppolo appeared to target wide receiver Deebo Samuel on the fade, only to see Rams cornerback Marcus Peters snare the interception.
After the game, Kyle Shanahan told reporters he wasn’t upset with Garoppolo for the play, as it was the design the head coach wanted with the intended target. George Kittle, who might have been the go-to guy, appeared to be held on the play, too.
Either way, Garoppolo was on the winning side of things. Outside of this pick and a fourth-quarter fumble, which ended up doing no harm, he did his job to keep the offense in rhythm.
The Rams were allowing just 3.8 yards per carry to opposing running backs entering the game, so the 49ers were going to have a tough time moving the ball on the ground. Especially with Juszczyk out as a lead blocker.
Yet Shanahan stuck with his game plan, and the Niners continued to run the ball heavily early in the second half, which started to gash Los Angeles’ defense for bigger and bigger gains.
Overall, Coleman led all 49ers runners with 45 rush yards on 18 carries, plus San Francisco’s first touchdown. Breida added 36 yards of his own on the ground, plus another 27 in the air.
Had Coleman hauled in a would-be touchdown pass through the air, this group would have received an A-minus grade.
All told, though, the Niners rush attack did its job against a tough opponent.
George Kittle finally had a breakout game, leading all 49ers pass catchers with 103 yards. And his impressive “run after the catch” play for 46 yards in the second quarter was vintage 2018 Kittle:
One has to give credit to second-year wide receiver Dante Pettis, too, especially after somewhat of a sluggish start to the season.
He finished the game with only three catches for 45 yards, but each of those grabs came at key moments in the game.
The 49ers may have struggled to open up lanes on the ground a bit during the game, especially early on. And that was somewhat indicative of the shortages along the offensive line, not just at fullback.
Rookie tackle Justin Skule was beat by Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald on the Niners’ first possession of the game, surrendering a sack as a result. But here’s the thing: neither Skule nor fellow fill-in tackle Daniel Brunskill‘s names were called at any other point during the contest.
Simply put, they did their job after the initial gaffe on Skule.
Garoppolo was sacked just twice on the day, and he wasn’t pressured much at all. Great job from this patchwork unit.