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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


Rapid Reaction to 49ers’ 34-31 win over the Rams

Matt Andruscavage
Dec 21, 2019 at 10:38 PM


1) This Team is Resilient



In similar fashion to the Saints game, the San Francisco 49ers overcame what at least felt like an insurmountable deficit, as they defeated the Rams 34-31.

After giving up 21 relatively quick points and falling down 21-10, the defense appeared a bit overmatched as the Rams' offense made things look easy. It would be Fred Warner who made the splash play as he intercepted a Jared Goff dump pass and took it all the way back for a pick six and a 24-21 lead right before the half.

From there, the Rams took a 28-24 lead in the 4th quarter and appeared poised to hold the lead until Jimmy Garoppolo and George Kittle led the Niners on a 91-yard drive that resulted in a Kittle touchdown.

After Marcel Harris failed to come down with an interception that may have sealed the game, Greg Zuerlein made a 52-yard field goal to tie the game with 2:30 left in the game.

Facing 3rd and 16 TWICE, Garoppolo never wavered as he first fired a dart to an open Kendrick Bourne for 17 yards. He then converted the next one with a bomb to a wide open Emmanuel Sanders for a 46-yard gain. Ultimately, it would be Robbie Gould who would win the game with a short field goal.

It was remarkable how, despite the struggles and miscues, this team finds a way to get it done. It's now 12-3 and in the driver's seat for home field advantage.

2) The Defense is Struggling



While the defense is still very capable of closing games out and doing a lot to help win games, it's clear that it is not performing at the same level that it had before injuries and opponent adjustments have simply taken advantage of every weakness. The pass rush hasn't been the same, the run defense is inconsistent, and the secondary is allowing teams to stay on the field for far too long.

Getting Richard Sherman and K'Waun Williams back was big, but the defense needs a healthy Dee Ford and Jaquiski Tartt, who have been gone about a month now.

From here on out, it is do or die and while the offense is very good, the defense has to get back to what it was able to do earlier in the year or it could mean a quick playoff exit.

On a positive note, the adjustments made in the second half were good enough to keep the Rams from scoring after an interception deep in San Francisco territory and stop a few other drives. It just has to get back to what it was.

3) The Offense Can Be Very Explosive



The 49ers' offense is averaging 30 points per game and is really coming into its own. The ground game has been effective and Jimmy Garoppolo continues to prove what kind of quarterback he is.

Once they get into a rhythm, it's difficult for any team to stop them. They need to continue to pound the ball on the ground and develop the screen game to get those speedy running backs in space and rip off those chunk plays.

The passing game has been very good in the last several weeks as it has been asked to carry the day a few times. If this continues and the 49ers can cut down the mistakes, there are very few offenses that can keep pace with this unit.

4) Extra Points



- Jimmy Garoppolo finished 16 for 27 for 248 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions (one of which was popped up into the air)

- Matt Breida did not see much action. They are probably doing what they can to save him for Seattle.

- Kendrick Bourne continues to justify his snap count as he shows what he can do on third down.

- Fred Warner's interception was the team's first since the Seattle game.

- Emmanuel Sanders has done far more for the 49ers than put up stats. He has gelled a young receiving corps that continues to improve.

- Next week, the 49ers travel to Seattle for their regular season finale. If San Francisco is victorious, it gets home field. If not, it is a Wild Card and travels to Philadelphia or Dallas.
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.


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