49ers-Rams Week 16 film breakdown

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) scores against Los Angeles Rams defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Merry Christmas! Join Grant in the ancient Jewish tradition of watching coaches film on Christmas morning. You can watch his 49ers-Rams film breakdown below. L’Chaim.

This article has 84 Comments

  1. Yes, Sean McVay came into San Francisco with a very good offensive game plan. Unfortunately, the plan was just over thirteen months too late. Those are the plays he should have run against the Patriots in the Super Bowl. I am not a fan of McVay, I think he is a bit overrated.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all 49er faithful who haunt this board.

    Oh, and Grant, good job.

    1. Yes, happy x-mas and new year to you and your family Grant. Good job on all the video breakdowns. Could you please make your picture in the corner 1/3 smaller if possible to see players and the field better. Thanks

  2. This may be stating the obvious, but if Kyle doesn’t make establishing the run game a priority early in this game, I’ll be sorely disappointed. The Seahawk’s are ranked 24th in rushing yards allowed per game, while the Niners have the NFL’s most potent rushing attack in terms of production from the RB position (Only the Ravens average more rushing yards per game, and that’s only because they have the NFL’s all-time best rushing QB). Additionally, the Seahawks ability to pressure Garoppolo the last time these two teams met, was the primary reason they were able to keep themselves in the game. Sure, the Niners did struggle to run the ball effectively in that game as well, but I think was primarily due to the way Seattle was able to stack the box, thanks to the lack of viable options in the passing game with injuries to both Kittle and Sanders.

    I expect to see a heavy dose of Mostert, Breida and Coleman, using the run to set up the pass, and if the Niners stick to this plan, while avoiding costly turnovers, they have a darn good chance of putting the injury riddled, overrated Seahawks away by the time they reach the 4th QTR!

    Go NINERS!

    1. I disagree …we should be pass heavy first and finish the game with runs…

      Why play conservative?…..lets attack them early…..

      Unless of course it does rain…..then we run hard..

      1. We play conservatively because I think the only thing sitting between the 49ers and the #1 seed, would be losing this game due to turnovers. Kittle changes the entire dynamic when it comes to Seattle’s run defense. Stacking the box is simply a lot less effective with Kittle on the field, so I don’t expect Seattle to play the run as aggressively as they did the first game. The Niners should find plenty of success running the football, and with Seattle’s injuries, it should be the 49ers biggest advantage in terms of game management. I’d be shocked if the 49ers struggle in the run game this time around, and there is no better way to demoralize a defense while protecting the football, than to run the ball down their throats. Garland is a better run blocker than pass protector, and miscommunication in the passing game is always the biggest concern playing on the road in a loud environment like Seattle. The 49ers will have opportunities in the passing game, but controlling this game starts, IMO, with the Niners’ dynamic rushing attack. If ever there was a game where a more conservative, run first game plan made sense, it’s this week, in my humble opinion.

        1. Just go out offensively and do exactly what you did in week 10. Catch the ball, the QB holds onto the ball, Staley isn’t a turnstile and they’ll win.

          With Kittle this time around to take pressure off Sanders it’s a whole new ballgame

          1. Well, more good news for the Niners besides the fact that a healthy Kittle and Sanders changes the entire dynamic, is that Kyle and the offense have a little extra time to game plan and work on those details this week. Kyle’s going to have the Niners prepared offensively, while Seattle is likely going to look very one-dimensional, so it likely just simply comes down to executing in a very hostile environment. They got it done in a crazy-loud Superdome just a few weeks back, and they are certainly battle tested on the road, at this point in their season.

            Man, I can hardly wait for Sunday Night! If the Niners protect the football, I think they put Seattle away early in the 4th QTR, and win this game going away!

            Go NINERS!

            1. Everytime we play Seattle we always play conservatively ….we play to their flow……the more time we take to score the higher the risk of turnovers….

              Use a similar game plan as against NO…..attack them early and fast….using Kittles and Sanders…

              We don’t want to play behind….get a lead and take out the crowd

              1. True, but Seattle is a different beast. Unlike the Saints, Seattle doesn’t have the firepower to run up the score. They’re basic formula is to win the turnover battle, run the ball hard, and let Russell do what Russell does. He extends plays, and either hits the occasional deep, or off schedule pass, or scrambles for a first down. Now, without Carson or Penny (or Prosise), they are limited offensively. So if the Niners prevent them from creating turnovers (Seattle is tied for 3rd in the league at +12), and they can’t run the football efectively, how does Seattle keep themselves in the game, if the Niners can run the ball, and put up points while controlling the clock?

              2. If Seattle does not have the firepower to score major points then it makes more sense we score more points early by passing the ball…..

  3. Great job Grant. Really enjoy the film breakdowns. McVay is a good coach but I think his time in the spotlight as the Golden Boy in LA is nearing its end. The Rams are in trouble with their cap space, draft pick situation, and I think Jared Goff may have already put his best year behind him. The 49ers situation is much better. Next year I think they will be even better than this year. Jimmy G will basically be in his 2nd year as a starter. The 49ers defense is playing with so many missing pieces it’s insane. Starting a 5th round and UDFA LB in this defense is very, very hard to do and maintain a consistently high level of play. Kwon coming back, Warner, and a high end FA LB will make this defense even better. I like Greenlaw and I’m luke warm on al Shaair but i see them as quality depth rather than starter material. I’m always a guy who wants to improve the o-line so I’d like to see that 1st round pick traded to pick up multiple mid round picks and then build the o-line. I’m a huge Creed Humphrey fan out of Oklahoma. I can’t effing stand the Sooners but Humphrey is the best center to come out of college in a long time. I’d be perfectly happy if the 49ers used the 32nd pick on a great center like Creed. He would be an amazing fit with what Shanny does on offense. Anywho..

    Merry Christmas Grant and Merry Christmas to all the fans on this blog.

    1. Being a huge Sooner fan.
      I totally agree on Humphrey.
      He is a monster and should be gone in the first round.
      He’s about the only player I’d take from their high prolific offense this offseason.

      I really liked Hollywood brown last year and was scoffed at the idea of dumping one of our receivers and drafting him.
      Seems he’s doing ok in Bal.

        1. Yeah. OU is banged up defensively.
          And when they were healthy they weren’t world beaters.
          It would take a huge offensive output to beat LSU.
          I don’t think my Sooners have the weapons to win this game.
          I’d love to be wrong

  4. Grant! Your film breakdowns are my favorite none actual game events. I am glad you clarified what actually happened on that second 3rd and 16 to Sanders. My comments on Jimmys warts are not really an effort to degrade him. Players have their strengths and weaknesses. I believe we should be objective and consider both. Most people do not. If they like a player the focus totally on the good, ignore the bad and gild the average. I also thought that throw to Bourne might have been Jimmy’s best throw in memory. It was a dart between two defenders, but still not at the level of Young to TO against the Packers. That was a really tight window. Jimmy is not a bad QB, but he certainly is not the QB most of us thought he was going to be. I still have my doubts about him going forward.

    Props for defending Spoon. People tend to want to throw him under the bus every chance they get. Also for given Dewley some props. I still do not understand why they do not use him more or why they even play Celik- ever.

    Wishing you and your family the best this Holiday season.

    1. he certainly is not the QB most of us thought he was going to be

      Most? You speak for yourself and yourself only, buster.

      Merry Christmas.

      1. exactly rib!!! CANT EVEN BELIEVE PEOPLE STILL WHINING ABOUT JG!!!!!!!! its freaking shameful!!!!!!! im embarrassed to even be associated with you people…..this year has opened my eyes as to why 49er fans are hated in this country and refereed to as ” whiner fans”!!!!!
        Sure, the guy needs to limit the turnovers…..but how many fan bases wouldnt say the same thing about their qb??!! the guys is less than 2 full years in as a starting qb…..has 7 4th quarter come back wins….an outstanding record win – loss……is on the verge of securing the #1 seed in the play offs …..and hopefully winning a SB!!!!!!!!!
        and if he does, many ppl in this fan base will still criticize the kid!!!! wow! just wow!!
        this is one of the reasons ive ghosted this site after 8 years of loyalty……i can deal with you whiners when things arent going well…….but not when were the best team in the NFL….. :(

        1. Some folks are NEVER satisfied ‼️ If not Jimmy Gangsta, then who would you rather have ⁉️ Goff? Cousins? Trubisky? The man ain’t doin’ nothin’ but WINNING GAMES ‼️ Who has won more games than him this year ⁉️ And don’t give me that “oh the defense is the reason for the record we have “.
          I don’t believe the defense put up 48 points on New Orleans ‼️ So quit your belly aching or find a team with a QB you like ‼️

        2. I just hope KG continues to get better like many fans do, like getting rid of the ball sooner, less fumbles and careless int’s. He hopefully will keep learning. If he can keep up the 70-75% completions and 2 td’s per games that’s great. The ‘whole team’ including JG wins games not just JG. JG does throw some great clutch passes at times, that is awesome!!..You should be embarrassed the way you come off, so leave then. Niner haters hate just to hate and whiners just sounds like niners. There are some crybaby fans like every teams has. Happy New Year and I say the 49ers win by 10 on Sunday.

    2. Garoppolo 18-5 as the starting QB for the 49ers in 23 starts. In the last 23 games without him they were 4-19. Keep on pissing and moaning about the guy though.

  5. I haven’t seen the breakdown explanation as to why Coleman is struggling or what he is doing right to still be in there. I’ve heard it asserted that Coleman is better at Pass protection, do you see the same thing Grant

    Why no Jeff Wilson

    1. Matt…Grant did a breakdown on Coleman…he stutter steps before he hits the hole or completely wiffs on the lanes period….indecisive…I think it was on last weeks breakdown….

      I am sure most of us are wondering why no JWilsonJR on short yardage plays .. its a Kyle head scratcher

  6. As of the moment, it’s looking like rain will be be tapering off in the Seattle area Sunday afternoon. Of course, we’re talking Seattle here so there’s rain lurking just about anytime in late December.

    1. Me I wish they would have somebody else annouce the prime time games … Collingworth and AMichaels are garbage announcers…can’t stand either…..typically when they are announcing I don’t watch the game period….

        1. ??? I will watch this game even with Chris C and AMichaels but they really stink as announcers…I think Goodell has fielded a lot of complaints about these two….they are just plain horrible you would think they could find some decent announcers= guys that explain the plays who makes the tackles etc…

          1. Pretty sure Roger Goodell doesn’t dictate who NBC employs. Michaels and Collinsworth are 2 of the best in the business. I really enjoy their broadcasts. I thought you were saying you wouldn’t watch this game because of them. My bad.

            1. NO I just think CColl and AMichaels are the worst….that’s why I tune out when they broadcast….I read somewhere the NFL (even though that is not who hires announcers ) has recieved a lot of complaints of these two…..If I have to watch a game with them announcing I plug in my Strat Les Paul whatever turn the volume off on my big screen and just shred while the game is taking place= just can’t stand these two…if they are the best its not saying much

  7. I can honestly say I haven’t looked forward to the last game of the year this much since we played the Raiders in Dec. of 1970. Go Niners!!!!

      1. FRB,
        That is the one. God did that bring back memories. The game was played in the blackout era. No matter whether it was a sell out or not the game was blacked out locally. Santa Rosa was within the blackout zone but the local cable company carried a CBS affiliate from Chico. All of my extended family from the City and the rest of the Bay area came to our house in S.R. must have been 50 or 60 of them watching the game in 4 rooms. What a party.

  8. Another nice breakdown. I really understand what the setup and strategy is behind the play, when Grant shows the end zone angle in slow motion. It was interesting to see how the Rams showed man to man coverage, but stayed in zone coverage.
    .
    I also like the analysis of the bad plays, because it shows that the Niners are not perfect, and could still improve. If the Niners continue to improve, they could continue winning. Even JG could improve, since he threw 2 picks last game. JG will be the first to admit he needs to improve his ball security, and he stated several times that he needs to throw a more catchable ball. That said, I am happy that he is the 49er franchise QB, and hope he helps the Niners win another ring. Some who think he is a God and is so omniscient, he is infallible, will just be doomed to disappointment, if JG plays like he did during those 3 losses, so far this season. I may root every game for a Niner victory, but I also want them to learn from their mistakes, so they do not repeat them. Yes, JG is winning games, but he is not doing it in a vacuum. The defense has improved immensely, and it is a team sport. I will follow what Richard Sherman asks, and be critical, so they do not become complacent, like they did against the Falcons.
    .
    Grant is doing the Niners a great service, to point out their weaknesses and flaws. Now, the Niners know where they can improve. He is just keeping it real. I also like where he showed how the Third Down Bomb succeeded so well, and how JG threw into triple coverage, threading the needle for Bourne to convert that third and 16 play. It sure is amazing how Kittle can be so wide open, and KS deserves praise for devising such effective plays.
    .
    This game against the Seahawks will be a dogfight. The Niners need to play with few mistakes, and KS needs to coach the game of his life. I hope he uses his time outs wisely. Saleh needs to make shrewd assessments, and timely adjustments. JG needs to have good ball security, and use the no huddle with quick varied snaps to try to negate the crowd noise. The receivers need to catch the ball, and I hope they use Dwelley and James more as receivers. Wilson should also be utilized, to gash the Seahawks up the middle.
    .
    Getting that first round bye is huge, and it could be twice as hard to win, if the Niners drop to the 5th seed, and possibly have to play twice in the Clink.

    1. Grant is doing the Niners a great service, to point out their weaknesses and flaws. Now, the Niners know where they can improve

      So, the 9ers had no clue concerning their weaknesses and flaws….until Grant pointed them out yesterday? So with all the position coaches, offense/defense/special teams assistants, etc., they were adrift–had no inkling on how to improve? Really?

      Sebbie… Are you certain–beyond doubt–that Kyle and his staff consumed Grant’s input posted yesterday and are just now implementing it–junking all the work they’ve done over the last few days?

      1. You are only implying that they have no clue how to improve.
        .
        Actually, in a past meeting, they showed all of the bad plays of the first Rams game, and none of the good plays, to show how they can improve. Grant has done the same thing, but he also showed some of the good plays, too, in this latest breakdown.
        .
        This is like you implying that I want a receiver to fall down after every catch. I would rather the receiver concentrate on catching and securing the ball, instead of trying to run before catching it, and dropping it, even if it means he falls down past the sticks. Ideally, a receiver should catch the ball in stride, and run untouched for a TD. Easier said than done.

    2. Grant is doing the Niners a great service, to point out their weaknesses and flaws. Now, the Niners know where they can improve.

      SMH. Tell me this is the catfish, right?

      1. Perhaps Grant meant to type “complimentary”, but having observed him over the years, his sense of self worth may be high enough to actually intend it to be “complementary” ;-)

  9. Rib, the sycophants and toadies would never dare to point out weaknesses and flaws. They would just dwell on the rainbows and unicorns, predicting a blowout and easy victory.
    .
    Then the Niners become complacent, and have games like the Falcons game.

    1. If the Niners used Grant, and this site in particular, to “know” things, then they accomplished the impossible this season.

  10. I claim the right to pull a Seb.

    I predicted the 49ers would read my posts and add a pass rusher prior to Seattle and they did just that with the addition of Anthony Zettel.

    Zettel is known for his non-stop motor and quick get-off at the LOS. He has taken various self-defense programs to, as he described: brush aside various hand movements of opposing O-linemen.

    I suggested the 49ers activate Givens from the PS to augment their PR, however this move is better as Zettle is battle tested, Givens is not.

    Acquiring an additional bookend means Seattle can’t devote the assests Bosa’s way. Also, Shany rested his starting D-Line vs. the Rams to prepare for Seattle, and factoring their 8-day rest Sat-Sun night, NFL’s current #1 pass defense should be back to near normal…Watch out Wilson!

    Prediction: With Seattle’s injured O-Line and RB’s it’s SF–42-10 over the ‘hawks.

  11. Hey Grant…

    Hearing anything more concerning discontent within the 9er scouting department? I imagine scouts are rather busy, especially now that bowl games are underway and the college playoffs are about set to start. And that pesky combine is just around the corner. If scouts continue to have issues with Lynch and Shanahan, that can’t be terribly good when considering the long-term heath of the team So, anything up with the scouts?

  12. This game has turned out to be the biggest game for the Niners in the last 6 years. The stakes are just enormous. Win it and the Niners have the inside track to the Super Bowl. I recall Bill Walsh’s words about establishing base camp at a high altitude close to the peak and then assailing the peak every season. But in every season the team is significantly different in the current NFL, and the chances that the Niners will be in a similar dominant position next season at this time are not that high. They will be probably be good enough to contend for the division again next year, but the path will probably be harder with more pitfalls. Having defeated the winners of the two other NFC divisions, they are in an enviable position for getting home field advantage all through the play-offs — if they win on Sunday.

  13. Ted Nguyen had a different take on the Rams “breaking form”.

    “When playing the Rams, you know you have to stop the play-action boot game. “

    1. Tom, while I’m certainly hopeful that Zettel turns out to be a good signing, I’m not sure someone who has floated around the league on several mediocre teams’ practice squads and was available this late in the season can be expected to be much of an impact. Hopefully I’m wrong and he’s the second coming of Justin Smith. I’m just not that enthused about it yet.

      1. I like his chances vs. an injury riddled Seattle O-Line.

        Kris Kocurek (49ers Wide-9 Def Line coach) drafted him, so knows all about him in the wide 9 concept.

        This guy is better than anyone we’ve had since D-Ford went down, and for that alone, I’m thankful to find someone of his talent this late in the season.

        Also he started several games as a 2nd yr. Detroit Lion so isn’t really a practice squad player.

        He’s fresh-not banged up and explosive (played 4 games only for Bengals) and the 49ers will use him in pass rush situations off the edge.

        As mentioned, Green Bay put in a claim for him also.

    2. Well, I hope Zettel gives them a spark, but I doubt it will somehow light a fire under Solomon Thomas. Thomas has had more than enough reasons to be motivated this season, and nothing has changed. He’s simply not a very good fit at any particular position, which makes it hard for him to excel, or have much of an impact no matter what the Niners are asking from him.

  14. Zettel NFL Analysis:

    A nonstop motor and a little bit of craziness fuel the draft prospects of Anthony Zettel. If a player can make it on sheer willpower alone, Zettel will be an All-Pro. Zettel is capable of playing inside or outside on the defensive line and has experience playing in multiple alignments along the front. He shows quick eyes, great reflexes and the instincts to read the play on the go…Det. Lions Scouting Dept.

    NFL DRAFT2016 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Penn State DL Anthony Zettel
    ByJosh CarneyPosted on April 12, 2016 at 9:30 amSHARE TWEET SHARE EMAIL 10 Comments
    As you should know by now, our attention has now shifted to the 2016 NFL Draft as it relates to the prospects. From now until the draft takes place, we hope to profile as many draft prospects as we possibly can for you. Most of these player profiles will be centered around prospects the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have interest in.

    Profiling Penn State’s Anthony Zettel today.

    #98, Anthony Zettel — DL/Penn State/6’4”/277 Lbs/Redshirt Senior

    Pitt Steelers Scouting Dept.:
    -High motor player that fights through blocks consistently
    -Quick get-off at the snap, allowing him to beat linemen cleanly
    -Good awareness and ability to react quickly
    -Reads QBs eyes to get hands up in passing lanes
    -Lives in opposing backfields
    -Good lateral footwork on interior
    -Above-average spin move as a pass rusher
    -Quick, powerful hands at the snap

    Green Bay put in a claim for him earlier in the season to bolster a playoff run.

  15. Valaoga had been on the Niners squad since training camp, so he knew the playbook better than Zettel. Valaoga had played in the last 4 games for the Niners, and knocked down a pass against the Rams.
    .
    The Raiders just claimed Valaoga, so they saw some value in his play.
    .
    It is low hanging fruit to claim that the Niners would add a pass rusher to the squad, considering all the injuries. However, claiming they would elevate Givens, then see them cut Valaoga and sign Zettel, was not very prescient at all.
    .
    I hope Zettel does do well, if he ever gets to play, but it is more practical to cheer for Solomon Thomas, and hope he gets a sack or 2.
    .
    Getting Julian Taylor should also help, especially at DT. Glad they are resting Dee Ford, so he is healthy for the playoffs.

        1. Just considered factors like familiarity with the defensive scheme and playbook.
          .
          But yes, It is Kocurek’s call, and he deemed Zettlel superior to Valaoga. Yes, he coached both. However, if Zettel under performs, or even does not get on the field, he will have to accept the critique. Valaoga knew all of the defensive calls, because he played in 4 games, while Zettel needs to learn a new system.
          .
          I sure hope Zettel can help the pass rush. Maybe he will have more motivation, coming from a cellar dweller, to a SB contender. He will appreciate what a wonderful opportunity he has, other than working into futility for a last place team with absolutely no chance of making it to the playoffs. I hope he does well, but he needs more experience with a Saleh styled defense.
          .
          I want him to do well, but see how he could struggle. Valaoga was claimed by the Raiders, who consider him an upgrade.

          1. Zettel’s role will be simple ….. he’ll be used as a situational pass rusher on obvious passing downs. We’ll see if he can actually pressure the QB, because that’s about all he’ll be asked to do for now.

            1. The Seahawks will try to take advantage of his inexperience, maybe run some misdirections and reverses. Pete Carroll will try to confuse Kettel. However, if he can take snaps and help rest the other D linemen, he may be effective, and doing his job. A sack would be a bonus.

              1. Sure, the Seahawks may test Zettel with some misdirection, but that’s fine. It’s not as if Valoaga was giving them anything, because he was a complete non-factor. At least Zettel has NFL experience, so that’s a plus. If Solomon Thomas could do anything off the edge, things would be different, but Thomas ….. ugh, don’t even get me started ….

        1. Dang it! Julian Taylor went down in practice today, suffering what the team considers a “significant” knee injury!

          2 steps forward, 1 step backwards …… SMH!

          Look for them to promote Kevin Givens from their practice squad!

          1. (49ers webzone) The San Francisco 49ers were hoping to get Jullian Taylor back to help boost the injury-depleted depth along the defensive line. That may not happen now.

            The defensive tackle showed up on Thursday’s practice participation report with a new injury listed in addition to the elbow injury suffered during Week 13.

            Apparently, Taylor suffered a knee injury during Thursday’s practice, according to Matt Barrows of The Athletic. And the injury is significant enough that the defensive lineman is undergoing an MRI to determine the extent of the damage.

            Barrows also reports that the 49ers are calling free agent defensive linemen who might be able to sign and contribute.

  16. Great job on the breakdown. Agree or disagree on some of the analysis, I just want to give props on doing a great job and really mastering the format. We learn a lot from these film reviews and really appreciate them!

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