Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports


49ers vs. Rams offensive grades: Are there still concerns with the 49ers offense?

Rohan Chakravarthi
Oct 6, 2022 at 3:15 PM--


The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Los Angeles Rams 24-9 on Monday Night Football, becoming first place in the NFC West as a result.

While the 49ers won with significant measure, it was the defense that shined once again, limiting the Rams to nine points and scoring a touchdown to seal the game.



Here are the offensive grades from Week 4.

Quarterback: B-


Jimmy Garoppolo had somewhat of a bounce-back performance after one of his worst performances as a 49er in Week 3 against the Denver Broncos, throwing for 239 yards and a touchdown.

However, Garoppolo operated a relatively simple gameplan as 196 of his 239 passing yards came after the catch, with a majority coming on a 57-yard Deebo Samuel touchdown during which the veteran quarterback threw a quick slant pass and his receiver did the rest of the work for the score.

Garoppolo made some nice tight-window throws, hitting George Kittle over the middle for a 20-yard gain and nearly hitting him again on an impressive throw, but the star tight end couldn't get two feet in the endzone.

Additionally, Garoppolo played relatively clean football, recording zero turnovers and having minimal, if any, turnover-worthy plays, which is what the 49ers need at the bare minimum if they want to contend for a Super Bowl.

However, the regular inconsistencies didn't waver in Week 4, as Garoppolo continued to miss open reads, bail on progressions too early, and lock onto receivers, giving defenders easier chances to make plays.

Specifically, Garoppolo elects to bypass the intermediate out-route, ran by George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk on several plays in the game, throwing shorter passes instead, which sometimes go for first downs, but prolong drives and create more opportunities for mistakes.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan continues to scheme open receivers in the intermediate and deep ranges of the field, but his quarterback has failed to deliver on those shot plays, either being inaccurate or missing the read, which has limited the 49ers' offense into one of the less-prolific scoring attacks this season

If the 49ers are going to reach their offensive potential, Garoppolo will need to capitalize on more opportunities, as the offense is currently leaving too many chances on the board.

Overall, Garoppolo played better than in Week 3, but was far from spotless and operated a simpler gameplan that revolved around the quick game and having his pass-catchers do the work in Week 4.

Running Backs: B+


Jeff Wilson Jr. was the bell-cow back for the 49ers in Week 4, taking 18 of San Francisco's 22 carries and rushing for 74 yards and a touchdown.

Now, those stats may not necessarily be as appealing for a B+ grade, especially given Wilson's meager 4.1 yards-per-carry attribute, but the veteran running back played well by being decisive as a downfield runner and hitting the hole quickly, which led to some of the bigger gains on the day.

Additionally, Wilson's yards-per-carry was brought down by Los Angeles's defensive aggression, as the Rams consistently put seven or eight players in the box, daring Jimmy Garoppolo to throw the football, meaning it was tougher to run the football.

Lastly, Wilson had three carries in garbage time that resulted in only one yard gained, lowering his yards per carry average on the game.

With a depleted running back group, Wilson performed well on Monday to raise some confidence in the 49ers' rushing attack and his downfield running style should propel the ground game until Elijah Mitchell and Tyrion Davis-Price return.

Still, the 49ers continue to show hesitancy in utilizing rookie Jordan Mason, who has flashed with every opportunity he's received thus far. It would be smarter to diversify the rushing attack with Mason's physicality, which would, in return, keep Wilson healthier due to workload.

Wide Receivers: A-


This game was meant for the wide receivers and it was clear from the initial drive that San Francisco was going to utilize pass-catchers in space.

Deebo Samuel had his breakout receiving game, catching six passes for 115 yards, including an incredible 57-yard catch-and-run that involved several broken tackles on his way to the endzone.

Brandon Aiyuk had only four catches for 37 yards, but consistently got open in Week 4 on a variety of different routes.

Whether it was in-breaking routes, out-routes, or quick-hitting routes, the third-year receiver continued to create separation, but Jimmy Garoppolo didn't look his way on several different occasions, including a potential touchdown on 3rd & Goal at the 1-yard line where the receiver showed visible frustration after immediately freeing himself from Jalen Ramsey on a whip-route.

But, blocking-wise, Aiyuk had a hell of a game, which was vital against the Rams' aggressive defensive approach, with his best play coming on a Kyle Juszczyk nine-yard run that was fully dependent on Aiyuk sealing the edge against a defensive end.

Fellow third-year receiver Jauan Jennings had a fairly productive game, catching two passes, both on successful third-down conversions, for 22 yards. However, Jennings dropped an open pass that would've converted another first down later in the game.

Still, working against inexperienced cornerbacks, Jennings got open on several routes this week, despite his lack of top-end speed, but Garoppolo missed him high on a third-down conversion and didn't look his way on another play over the middle in the intermediate range.

Tight Ends: B


George Kittle was only targeted four times in Week 4, catching two passes for 24 yards, while being utilized as a blocker more often due to the loss of left tackle Trent Williams.

Still, it was a similar story with Kittle as it was with the receivers, as the tight end got open on certain plays, but didn't catch Garoppolo's eyes, but the All-Pro also saw his fair share of double-coverages while running routes, paving the way for other skill position plays to be involved.

Kittle was used as a blocker, be it in pass-protection or on screen plays, on 37.5% of Jimmy Garoppolo's dropbacks in Week 4, which was a fairly high rate, while earning a 23.5% target share while running routes.

As a blocker, Kittle showcased why he's considered one of the best dual-threat tight ends in the NFL, mauling his way in the run game, while holding his ground in the passing attack.

Backup tight end Charlie Woerner was also impactful as a blocker in the game, recording the key block on Jeff Wilson Jr.'s 37-yard touchdown run.

Additionally, Woerner had an opportunity for a big play, getting past his defender on a deep route, but Garoppolo missed him, throwing to his outside shoulder instead of his inside shoulder, resulting in an incompletion rather than a potential touchdown.

Offensive Line: A-


Against a strong Rams defensive line, the 49ers' depleted offensive line was impressive, holding their ground in the running game, while leaving enough time for Jimmy Garoppolo to operate the quick-game approach that Kyle Shanahan implemented as a major part of the gameplan.

Backup left tackle Colton McKivitz didn't allow a pressure on Monday and when he was ruled out with an MCL injury, Jaylon Moore continued the trend for the remainder of the game.

In fact, every 49ers offensive lineman had a fairly strong game on Monday, except for guard Spencer Burford, who had several mistakes going up against Aaron Donald in the running game and passing game.

Left guard Aaron Banks, who faced significant criticism this offseason, had another strong performance, even against Aaron Donald, while moving well in the running game, especially on Jeff Wilson Jr.'s 37-yard touchdown.

Jake Brendel didn't have any snap miscues, while holding well in both facets of the game. Him and Burford need to continue working on their chemistry, especially on stunts, but it was a promising bounce-back performance after a down week against the Broncos last Sunday.

Burford faced his fair share of struggles, getting beaten by Donald in both the passing and running game, which led to the 49ers replacing him with guard Daniel Brunskill for a number of series.

But, the rookie fourth-rounder bounced back when returning to the game, helping the 49ers down the stretch.

Lastly, right tackle Mike McGlinchey is quietly compiling a strong season after a poor Week 1, recording yet another clean week on the outside, despite seeing reps against Leonard Floyd.

Good week for the offensive line, who will face Brian Burns and Co. in Week 5 against the Carolina Panthers.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.



1 Comment

  • Runner
    O line is the weakness. JG needs two more seconds per play. We will skunk against good defense otherwise
    Oct 6, 2022 at 4:03 PM
    0

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