5 key stats that define 49ers smashing win over Rams

Eli Mitchell #25 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Eli Mitchell #25 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Rams
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) in front of Los Angeles Rams free safety Taylor Rapp (24), safety Nick Scott (33) and cornerback Jalen Ramsey (5) Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 4: 49ers dramatically improve on third-down conversions

Entering Week 10, the 49ers owned a 33.3 third-down conversion success rate, third worst in the league and only marginally ahead of the Detroit Lions (32.5 percent) and the Jacksonville Jaguars (30.3 percent).

The Niners’ time-of-possession victory over Los Angeles wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for some key third-down pickups, including some clutch grabs by wide receiver Deebo Samuel, who had himself a game by every workable measure.

It helped, however, San Francisco set itself up better on first and second downs, frequently resulting in 3rd-and-short situations that were much easier to convert.

As a result, the 49ers finished the game with an 8-of-14 mark on third downs (57 percent) and also had a perfect 5-of-5 third-down success rate over the first two quarters.

Some of those failed third-down attempts weren’t bad either, including one late fourth-quarter rush attempt that was designed merely to grind down the clock when the game was all but decided anyway.

Another failed conversion led to Samuel’s 4th-and-5 catch-and-run touchdown for 40 yards:

Who needs third-down conversions when scoring touchdowns on fourth down is the end result, right?

Speaking of Samuel’s night…