49ers survive Brock Purdy overthrows, defensive woes to beat Rams in Week 2

If Brock Purdy can only bring those throws down a little bit, the rest of the league will be in trouble.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy / Harry How/GettyImages

Final. 23. 51. 49ers-Rams score. 30. 42

It certainly wasn't his best game, but Brock Purdy was at least on the right side of a hard-fought NFC West victory over the Rams.

The San Francisco 49ers had to know it wasn't going to be as easy as it was during Week 1's one-sided victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Not as easy for the rest of the season, and it certainly wasn't going to be that easy in Week 2 for an NFC West division showdown at SoFI Stadium against the Los Angeles Rams.

Sure, the crowd at SoFI was nearly two-to-one in favor of the Niners, and that was easily apparent both by the noise and the colors in the seats. But, thinking that would give San Francisco a dominant advantage might be a bit misleading.

The 49ers pulled off a 30-20 victory in a game that seemed much closer for the bulk of four quarters, at one point with LA even having the lead. And improving to 2-0 to begin the year before a Thursday night showdown against the New York Giants has to be a good feeling, too.

Yet head coach Kyle Shanahan and Co. will have a few more things to clean up and improve upon during the short week.

Where was the 49ers' vaunted pass rush vs. Rams?

Los Angeles managed to take advantage of some soft coverage for much of the first half and into the third quarter, and quarterback Matthew Stafford didn't have too much difficulty finding wide receivers Puka Nacua and Tutu Atwell, whom most Niners fans probably never heard of prior to the game.

Perhaps it was because San Francisco struggled to generate much of a pass rush up front despite facing a banged-up LA offensive line.

Instead of one of the 49ers' star defensive linemen, such as edge Nick Bosa or defensive tackle Javon Hargrave, it was linebacker Fred Warner picking up his team's first sack, and that didn't take place until deep in the second half and was the result of an uptick in blitzes from defensive coordinator Steve Wilks.

The Niners weren't wholly equal on the back end within the secondary, aside from nickel cornerback Isaiah Oliver's game-shifting interception of Stafford off a deflection:

That was huge. And needed. Likewise with cornerback Deommodore Lenoir's interception late in the fourth that led to points, too.

More may be needed from players like Bosa and Hargrave, though.

Why was Brock Purdy overthrowing his 49ers teammates so badly?

Quarterback Brock Purdy was cool and collected despite taking three sacks in Week 1. And while he didn't show any signs of panic in Week 2 at Los Angeles, there's no arguing the fact he left some points off the scoreboard.

Purdy's day was fine, and he was directly responsible for San Francisco's second touchdown of the game: a 1-yard sneak with time expiring before the half.

However, the second-year signal-caller overthrew his targets badly three times, and all three plays would have gone for massive plays if not touchdowns outright, including a bad miss over the head of wide receiver Deebo Samuel.

At least Purdy would find Samuel later for a lateral that would go as an 11-yard touchdown run (not a pass).

Perhaps it's just one of those minor issues Purdy needs to address. And if he does, the 49ers offense should be that much more potent.

And Sunday's game probably would have been significantly less stressful, but the Niners have no room to overthink it as they prepare for Thursday Night Football on the short week.

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