49ers game grades from tough Week 2 victory over division-rival Rams

Grades for the Niners in Week 2 weren't quite as dominant as they were in Week 1.
San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey scores a touchdown over Los Angeles Rams defensive back John Johnson III
San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey scores a touchdown over Los Angeles Rams defensive back John Johnson III / Harry How/GettyImages
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San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Rams, Tutu Atwell, Fred Warner, Deommodore Lenoir
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Fred Warner (54) and cornerback Deommodore Lenoir (2) tackle Los Angels Rams wide receiver Tutu Atwell. / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages

49ers Defensive Grades

Fred Warner

A quick blurb for the All-Pro linebacker, who individually played a phenomenal game, although the defense tended to struggle.

Fred Warner's coverage was superb as always, and his run defense, particularly in the second half, held strong. But it was his blitzing that gave the 49ers their only sack of the day and disrupted Matt Stafford.

One could argue it hurts the Niners defense to take Fred Warner out of coverage, but the defense needed a spark and Warner provided it.

A-. MLB - 49ers. . Fred Warner. Fred Warner

49ers Rushing Defense

San Francisco's defense was a tale of two halves, and the rushing defense defined it perfectly.

In the first half, the Rams rattled off 53 yards on the ground only only 13 carries, efficiently moving the ball at 4.2 yards a run. That type of efficiency allowed LA to comfortably pass and attack the 49ers defense and generally disrupt any defensive momentum.

But that changed in the second half by just enough, as the 49ers held the Rams to 4 yards a carry and more importantly, they stiffened up in the biggest moment.

Like this huge stop by Isaiah Oliver:

This defense prides itself on perfection, so 4.0 yards per carry for the game is an OK performance, one that could be improved upon.

But in total, it is a performance you'll gladly take.

. . 49ers Rushing Defense. 49ers Rushing Defense B. B

49ers Passing Defense

Again, there is a story of two halves for San Francisco. In the first half, Stafford completed 14 of 18 passes for 143 yards and a touchdown. He was not particularly pressured, he was not particularly stressed, and he was dotting up the 49ers secondary. Allowing 7.9 yards per attempt is a recipe for disaster for a defense, especially when the yards come easily. Rookie wide receiver Puka Nacua had 66 yards in the first half itself.

In the second half, with a pass rush that was not getting home and a defense in search of an answer, defensive coordinator Steve Wilks turned to blitzes and lots of them.

Short summary: They worked more often than they did not.

Stafford ended the game having passed the ball 55 times for 307 yards, a paltry 5.6 yards per attempt that showcased how mucked up passing became in the second half. Once Stafford was off-kilter, San Francisco's defense was able to take over.

The interception by Isaiah Oliver was a smart play of a bobble by RB Kyren Williams of the Rams, and then DB Deommodore Lenoir undercut another Stafford pass to ding the Rams QB with two turnovers.

That helped ice the game, but it also masks a lot of the issues the 49ers had on coverage. Sure the Rams peppered them with passes, but their coverage was too soft and simply not good enough at times. They survived this week, will they in the future?

. . 49ers Passing Defense. 49ers Passing Defense C. C