Rams vs. 49ers: Live Grades and Analysis for San Francisco

Phil GCorrespondent IDecember 1, 2013

Dec 1, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Anquan Boldin (81) looks for a penalty after being hit in the head by St. Louis Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson (22) in the first quarter at Candlestick Park. Johnson was called for illegal hands to the face on the play. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers defeat the St. Louis Rams, 23-13. The spotlight was on Michael Crabtree's return, and rightfully so, but it was the 49ers defense that secured this victory.

With the Arizona Cardinals falling to the Philadelphia Eagles earlier in the day, this win for the 49ers puts them in a great position to secure one of the two NFC wild-card spots.

The 49ers (8-4) will host the Seattle Seahawks (10-1) in Week 14.

Check below for final grades and analysis.



St. Louis Rams - 13

San Francisco 49ers - 23

San Francisco 49ers Grades
Position UnitFirst-Half GradeFinal Grade
Pass OffenseBB+
Run OffenseCC
Pass DefenseAA-
Run DefenseAB
Special TeamsB-A
vs. Rams Week 13

Game Analysis for the San Francisco 49ers

Pass Offense: Colin Kaepernick totaled nearly 300 yards on the day, which gave him his highest total since Week 1. In his first game back, receiver Michael Crabtree made his presence known, hauling in a 60-yard pass that nearly went for a score.

Run Offense: Frank Gore received less than 17 touches on the ground, and the result was a win. The 49ers were 1-4 on the season if Gore didn’t reach that plateau.

Pass Defense: Credit should be given to the 49ers secondary, which held the Rams offense scoreless for most of the afternoon. Clemens isn’t Drew Brees, but the performance of this secondary was impressive nonetheless.

Run Defense: The 49ers front seven has put together three consecutive great performances. Increasing the playing time of Aldon Smith has helped. Zac Stacy was held scoreless on 19 carries, breaking his three-game streak of scoring at least one touchdown.

Special Teams: With the exception of the muffed punt, the 49ers played exceptionally well. From stifling the Rams on a fake punt to the performance of the coverage unit, the 49ers special teams unit came to play today.

Coaching: Offensive coordinator Greg Roman put together a fantastic game plan. Even though the 49ers struggled on the ground, they were very balanced throwing and running the football.

December 1, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree (15) points to the referee during the first quarter against the St. Louis Rams at Candlestick Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

First-Half Analysis for the San Francisco 49ers

Pass Offense: Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis continue to be Colin Kaepernick’s favorite targets in the passing game. They combined for 110 receiving yards on eight catches in the first half. Michael Crabtree made his season debut, though he has been quiet thus far.

Run Offense: Despite a plus matchup on the ground, the 49ers running backs gained little traction in the first half. However, the 49ers did involve Kaepernick in the run game, and he proved to be rather effective.

Pass Defense: With the exception of the final drive before the half, Kellen Clemens and this Rams aerial attack proved ineffective. How ineffective? No Rams receiver was able to pull down more than one reception.

Run Defense: Rams running back Zac Stacy found no room on the ground, totaling just 25 yards on 10 carries. The 49ers front seven absolutely dominated the Rams offensive line, and if this continues, this game could turn ugly.

Special Teams: LaMichael James, who has taken over all return duties, muffed a punt that could have led to a Rams score. James has a history with fumbles. Phil Dawson successfully made two of his attempted field goals.

Coaching: The 49ers had an excellent game plan in the first half. More importantly, they were very balanced in terms of pass-to-run ratio (14:9).