SF 49ers: Biggest studs, duds from Week 12 win vs. LA Rams

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Robert Saleh, SF 49ers

San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The SF 49ers pulled off a much-needed 23-20 win over the LA Rams in Week 12, and Niner Noise breaks down the winners and losers.

It’s anyone’s guess whether or not the SF 49ers can make a legitimate push to get into the NFC playoff picture between now and Week 17.

But they are 5-6 on the season after their Week 12 road win over their NFC West division rivals, the LA Rams, after pulling off a 23-20 victory at SoFI Stadium in Southern California on Sunday afternoon.

In doing so, head coach Kyle Shanahan’s squad improves to 2-0 over the Rams, and that season sweep could have some serious seeding implications once the final standings are determined.

That’s a problem for another time, however, and Shanahan has to be more pleased with his team coming off the bye week and handing the Rams a tough loss on a last-second field goal by kicker Robbie Gould. San Francisco’s offense had its issues, yes, particularly with ball security. But those were offset by what coordinator Robert Saleh’s defense did, holding the high-powered Rams offense to 308 total yards while forcing four takeaways in the process.

If you want a general winner from the game, the SF 49ers defense surely is one of them.

And Saleh kicks off Niner Noise’s list of winners from Week 12, although we have to toss in some losers, too.


SF 49ers Winner: Robert Saleh

Saleh had himself a phenomenal defense in 2019, and that landed him one head coaching interview during the offseason.

He didn’t get the job. But one could argue Saleh’s 2020 efforts with the Niners defense have been a masterpiece, especially considering all the injuries this unit has suffered over the course of the year.

Los Angeles was averaging nearly 400 yards of offense entering Week 12, so San Francisco cutting down that average by almost 25 percent is quite an achievement.

So were the four takeaways, too, which essentially gave the SF 49ers a win.

Saleh, from the greater Detroit, Michigan area, has to be considered a prime candidate for the now-vacant 2021 coaching gig with the Detroit Lions, and the coordinator’s showing in the wake of the Lions firing their former head coach, Matt Patricia, has to be constituted as a major win for Saleh’s ascent.

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