49ers grades from Week 10 smashing of Rams on Monday night

Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers runs against Robert Rochell #31 of the Los Angeles Rams (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers runs against Robert Rochell #31 of the Los Angeles Rams (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports /

49ers Offensive Grades

San Francisco’s opening offensive position, an 18-play, 93-yard drive, made it clear Kyle Shanahan wanted to stick with the ground game and play as physical as possible.

It worked, as the 49ers methodically moved the ball on the ground that drive. And at one point, the Niners had just two pass plays on their first 11 offensive snaps.

That took a massive load off Jimmy Garoppolo from testing Los Angeles’ elite pass defense.

Quarterback: B+

Garoppolo didn’t have to do too much, going 15-of-19 for 182 yards and two touchdowns against zero interceptions, all the while passing for a 141.7 passer rating.

One of his best passes was his first touchdown score where he hit tight end George Kittle in the red zone on a well-placed pass:

While there were a few errant throws here and there, particularly when he threw behind wide receiver Jauan Jennings and nearly into the hands of Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey, Garoppolo was much more precise with his targets than usual.

Garoppolo didn’t have to do much, but he did what was asked of him and then a bit more.

Running Back: B+

Shanahan later told reporters it was his goal to get 40 rushes during the game, and the Niners had 44.

True, San Francisco only averaged 3.5 yards per carry, so it was a bit of a volume stat to see the ground game muster 156 yards. And while it was good to see veteran running back Jeff Wilson Jr. make his 2021 debut after tearing his meniscus last offseason, rookie rusher Elijah Mitchell flashed again with some chunk plays and 91 yards against a tough Los Angeles defensive front.

Wide Receiver: A-

Wide receiver Deebo Samuel continues to prove he’s one of the NFL’s most lethal weapons, and it’s not just because of his receiving prowess, which still netted 97 yards and a touchdown.

Additionally, Samuel is a weapon on the ground, scoring this score as well and proving he’s essentially a “positionless” player:

It might have been a slower night from fellow wideout Brandon Aiyuk, but he had a key grab and finished three catches for 26 yards.

Still, it was Samuel’s night to shine.

Tight End: A-

Kittle is so much more than a receiving threat, and he delivered some key blocks that afforded the 49ers the luxury of negating some of the Rams’ edge-setters.

On top of that, Kittle managed a quality night, hauling in five catches for 50 yards and the Niners’ opening touchdown.

Offensive Line: A-

Rams All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald and newly acquired EDGE Von Miller were supposed to take over the game and dominate a makeshift San Francisco offensive line, one which was starting rookie swing tackle Jaylon Moore at right tackle, who’s now the No. 1 option in the wake of Mike McGlinchey’s season-ending injury.

Moore was lost for the game with a knee injury, though, meaning veteran Tom Compton had to step in at right tackle.

Compton was beat for a sack, and left guard Laken Tomlinson had a false start. But other than that, the 49ers O-line won in the trenches, both in run blocking and in pass protection. Garoppolo took only one sack and one quarterback hit during the game.

Great job from this unit.