49ers Week 6 Special Teams and Coaching Grades
Kyle Shanahan had to get creative with his play calling, notably with Kyle Juszczyk out and two backups starting at tackle.
There was still some creativity in the play design, of course, which led to San Francisco mustering 331 yards of total offense. One could question a couple of plays from Shanahan, although the final outcome tells you what you need to know.
Kicker Robbie Gould missed another kick, pushing his season total to six misses. In fairness, though, the attempt was just about at the limits of his range, and it would have been an amazing conversion, had he made it.
The Niners dodged a major bullet in the second half, though, when return man Richie James kicked a punted ball, which the Rams recovered. Yet the Rams committed a penalty on the snap, negating the would-be turnover.
James had some difficulty in the return game, too, and he’s generally lacked the explosiveness seen earlier.
Not a great day from this unit, but not a bad one, either.
Shanahan might have gotten a little cute on that fade pass from Garoppolo on the 1-yard line, which ended up being intercepted. But for the most part, the head coach dialed up an excellent scheme despite being shorthanded at so many spots.
Had there been slightly better execution on the field, the 49ers could have easily won 30-7 instead.
But the real credit goes to Robert Saleh, whose defense absolutely smothered the Rams following their initial drive and touchdown score. Saleh’s backfield coverage blanketed what is still a very talented Los Angeles receiving corps, frustrated Jared Goff to career-low numbers and made easy work of a suspect Rams offensive line.
Aside from Saleh’s fired-up emotions on the sidelines, all one needs to know about how the coordinator’s fared on Sunday was seen on the faces of Rams players in the fourth quarter. They were defeated at that point.
Overall grade from the team? A solid A-mark. With room for improvement, too, which is scary.