The 49ers just pulled off a franchise-altering upset of the Rams. Just eviscerated them. Here’s what stood out.
- The pass defense. I’ve never seen such dominant pass defense before. The Rams came into the game with the second-most passing yards in the NFL, and the 49ers held them to just 78 yards through the air. Exposed Jared Goff and Sean McVay as overrated has-beens.
- Arik Armstead. He gets my game ball for the second time this season (first time was against the Steelers). Armstead has been the 49ers’ most disruptive, most relentless defensive player all season. Figures – his contract is up at the end of the season. He has earned himself quite a pay day.
- Dee Ford. He has knee tendinitis, which has limited his effectiveness this season. Last week against the Browns, the 49ers mostly used him as a decoy. But, against the Rams, he was no decoy. He recorded 1.5 sacks and forced a fumble.
- Solomon Thomas. Played defensive tackle and finally looked like a first-round pick. Recorded a sack and played with great effort. Good for Solomon.
- Jimmie Ward. Broke up two passes and played a key role in the 49ers brilliant pass defense. Ward has improved the 49ers defense since returning to the lineup last week.
- Jaquiski Tartt. Recorded an excellent tackle for loss. During the week, Tartt told me I only write about him when he messes up. He’s right. My bad. Tartt deserves lots of praise. He has been consistent and effective when healthy.
- George Kittle. Played with a groin injury and recorded a game-high 103 receiving yards. Who IS this guy?
- Dante Pettis. Last week, I wrote he’s a flat-out bust. This week in the locker room, he asked me why he’s a bust. I told him that merely was my opinion, take it for what it’s worth. He called me a bleeping joke. Fair enough. We’re even. I told him I hope he proves me wrong, and I will praise he him if does. Today, he took a big step toward proving me wrong. He was the best wide receiver on the field for either team. Averaged 15 yards per catch and almost scored a touchdown, but got pushed out of bounds after making a nice, leaping grab. I respect Pettis for making me eat my words so quickly. He’s a competitor.
- Daniel Brunskill. Made the first start of his career and gave up no sacks.
THE NOT SO GOOD
- The run defense. Gave up five yards per carry. Fortunately for the 49ers, no team can beat them simply by running the ball. Still, the 49ers need to find a way to improve their run defense as the season progresses.
- The run game without Kyle Juszczyk. The 49ers averaged only 2.4 yards per carry. This wasn’t a problem against the Rams and their anemic offense. Against a better team with a better offense, the Juszczyk-less run game could become an issue.
49ers-Rams postgame show. https://t.co/PwYdPdvEZj
— Grant Cohn (@grantcohn) October 14, 2019