SF 49ers: Deebo Samuel, defense grade out well vs. LA Rams

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) runs past Los Angeles Rams inside linebacker Natrez Patrick (57) Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) runs past Los Angeles Rams inside linebacker Natrez Patrick (57) Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /
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SF 49ers, LA Rams
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens (4) against the Los Angeles Rams Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

SF 49ers Offensive Grades vs. LA Rams

It was far from perfect, especially considering the Niners turned the ball over three times and managed only a 3-of-14 mark on third-down attempts.

But San Francisco still outgained Los Angeles 348 yards to 308, which is commendable considering the latter entered the contest ranked fifth best in yards allowed this season. Getting Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson and Deebo Samuel back sure had a massive impact, helping take pressure off quarterback Nick Mullens throughout the contest.


Week 12 revealed about everything one needs to know about Mullens.

He can win a game when things go right and he has help, but he’s going to make mistakes along the way and will have his serious limitations. Those were both on display against the Rams.

Mullens was 24-of-35 for 252 yards with zero touchdowns and an interception, albeit off a tipped pass at the line of scrimmage, all for a passer rating of 77.3. He overthrew a number of intended targets and could have been picked at least two more times.

Still, the Fox broadcast noted how Mullens “outperformed” Rams quarterback Jared Goff.

Rather, Mullens didn’t hurt his team as bad as Goff did. So, perhaps, that’s a win for the SF 49ers.


The stats won’t show it, but the Niners’ rushing efforts actually did a lot for the overall offensive effort.

Los Angeles had to respect Mostert, who only managed to rush for 43 yards on 16 carries for an average of 2.7 yards per carry. He did have the touchdown, San Francisco’s lone offensive end-zone score of the game, which helps the grade. Meanwhile, Jeff Wilson also added 43 yards and had a crucial 10-yard gain for a first down.

Both runners fumbled, however, and Mostert’s was returned for a Rams touchdown. That would set down the grade a lot if it weren’t for the fact the SF 49ers’ rushing attack coerced Los Angeles to stack the line of scrimmage, opening up more opportunities for Mullens.

That was more important than traditional stats.


Mostert’s presence helped, but Samuel was the Niners’ biggest X-factor.

After missing three games with a hamstring injury, Samuel returned with a vengeance and recorded a whopping 11 catches for 133 yards, which led all pass-catchers during the game.

And those numbers were assisted by this 33-yard “catch” to set up Mostert’s touchdown:


But what arguably more important was Samuel’s clutch 28-yard catch-and-run grab on 3rd-and-2 late in the fourth quarter, which set up kicker Robbie Gould’s game-winning field goal:


Needless to say, San Francisco missed Samuel’s presence on the field.

The SF 49ers also got some positive contributions from depth wideouts Kendrick Bourne and Richie James, too, who combined for four catches for 63 yards. Had Mullens not overthrown tight end Jordan Reed, the overall receiving numbers would have been much better for this crop.

Still, it was Samuel’s show.


On one hand, the Niners didn’t have an easy task in front of them going up against perennial All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who certainly made his presence felt.

On the other, it could have been much worse.

Donald was a force, stripping Mostert and causing a fumble, also picking up a sack and registering four quarterback hits. His tipping of one of Mullens’ passes also led to the quarterback’s lone interception, too.

Much of that fell on the offensive line, which struggled to open up outside-zone lanes in the second half.

Considering the patchwork nature of the interior, though, the fact Donald didn’t have a crazier stat line in the game is a modest win for this beleaguered unit.

It still needs improvement, though.