What We Saw: Rams at 49ers

Corey Saucier recaps a Monday night matchup where San Francisco dominated their divisional rival in the trenches.

Rams @ 49ers

Final Score: Rams 10, 49ers 31

Writer: Corey Saucier (@Deputy_Commish on Twitter, /u/Lights_Kamara_Action on Reddit)


The 49ers got their first home win in over a year on Monday night while QB Matthew Stafford and the Rams got thumped for a second straight week. Stafford took responsibility for the Rams’ Week 9 loss to Tennessee in a pregame interview with ESPN’s Lisa Salters. He said that throwing two picks and putting his team down 14 early against the Titans ultimately cost his team the game. So how did he respond on Monday night? By throwing two picks and putting his team down 14 early against the 49ers. San Francisco set the tone early that they were going to run the ball and play hard-nosed, physical football – and that’s exactly what they did. The 49ers’ first possession turned into an 18 play, 93-yard TD drive capped off by this 8-yard TD catch by TE George Kittle:



Now, I know what you’re thinking – how have I made it this far into the intro without discussing the Rams’ debut of WR Odell Beckham, Jr.? In the hottest inter-season free agent signing in recent memory, Beckham joined the Rams on Thursday after a tumultuous exit from Cleveland. We weren’t expecting to see much from Beckham with so little time to learn the offense, but he did make his first catch on the first play from scrimmage. It wasn’t Beckham that stole the show, but instead, it was 49ers’ WR Deebo Samuel that took over the game and put his team on his back. Did the 49ers beatdown of the Rams get you a victory this week? Let’s dive into what we saw:


Los Angeles Rams




Matthew Stafford: 26/41, 243 yards, TD, 2 INT | 1 carry, 1 yard


It was a second straight dud for Stafford and the Rams – this week only able to put up a single TD against San Francisco’s defense. Stafford struggled throughout the entire night. He overthrew receivers, he threw behind receivers, he needed a bit more touch on this throw, a bit more zip on that throw – things just generally weren’t going his way. Stafford has cooled off a bit the past couple of weeks after a white-hot start to the campaign, and it almost feels like Los Angeles’ bye week couldn’t come at a better time. We mentioned Stafford’s two early picks in the opener, but we forgot to mention that one was a pick-six and it was at least partially TE Tyler Higbee‘s fault as his bobbled pass led to the score:



Running Backs


Darrell Henderson: 5 carries, 31 yards | 6 targets, 4 receptions, 10 yards

Sony Michel: 4 carries, 20 yards | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 11 yards


With the Rams playing from behind early and often, the game script really killed the fantasy production of Rams’ RB Darrell Henderson. At one point in the first half, Henderson left the game briefly to be evaluated for a concussion but ultimately he was able to return. Henderson’s 4 grabs at least boosted his output slightly in PPR leagues, but he wasn’t able to bust any big plays. RB Sony Michel got most of his work while Henderson was being tended to on the sideline.


Wide Receivers/Tight Ends


Cooper Kupp: 13 targets, 11 receptions, 122 yards

Van Jefferson: 7 targets, 3 receptions, 54 yards

Tyler Higbee: 5 targets, 3 receptions, 20 yards, TD

Odell Beckham, Jr.: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 18 yards


There were no real surprises from this Rams’ pass-catching group on Monday night. Beckham’s debut didn’t do a thing to derail WR Cooper Kupp‘s magical season. In fact, Kupp is still on pace for the most prolific fantasy season for a WR that we’ve seen in the modern, pass-happy NFL. Kupp didn’t find the end-zone on Monday night, but his command of the target share basically guarantees a higher floor than any other WR in the league. TE Tyler Higbee made up for his part in the 49ers’ pick-six by grabbing the Rams’ lone TD of the night:



Did I mention that was the Rams’ only TD of the night?


San Francisco 49ers




Jimmy Garoppolo: 15/19, 182 yards, 2 TD | 2 carries, 1 yard


49ers’ QB Jimmy Garoppolo hasn’t wowed the fantasy community this season by any stretch, but he has quietly put a few straight games of solid, starting-level fantasy QB play recently. Garoppolo’s play on Monday night was more efficient, game-manager than world-beater, but he still did more than enough to get the 49ers a victory for their home crowd. Garoppolo’s accomplishments of late have been even more impressive when you factor in the pressure of trying to hold off the #3 overall pick in the 2021 draft in QB Trey Lance. But now that we see the 49ers’ weapons mostly healthy, Garoppolo’s fantasy stock could continue to rise.


We’ll let Jimmy send us off with this super gutsy 4th-down TD late to ice the game:



Running Backs


Elijah Mitchell: 27 carries, 91 yards

Jeff Wilson, Jr.: 10 carries, 28 yards


While San Francisco made the running game a huge part of their game plan against Los Angeles, Neither of the 49ers’ backs had a particularly huge game. Rookie WR Elijah Mitchell got a ton of looks but was woefully inefficient with them. The Niners were able to set the tone for physicality and toughness with their run game, but in actuality, neither Mitchell nor recently-returned RB Jeff Wilson, Jr. were efficient with their touches. Neither player recorded a target or a catch, and neither player ended up in the end zone. The biggest takeaway was that both Mitchell and Wilson looked healthy and able to handle however many touches are thrown at them.


Wide Receivers/Tight Ends


Deebo Samuel: 5 targets, 5 receptions, 97 yards, TD | 5 carries, 36 yards, TD

George Kittle: 7 targets, 5 receptions, 50 yards, TD

Brandon Aiyuk: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 26 yards


It was WR Deebo Samuel‘s world on Monday night – the rest of us were just living in it. 49ers’ HC Kyle Shanahan seemed to briefly forget Samuel’s position early in the game as Shanahan ended up with 3 carries on SF’s first possession (yes, carries) and even capped the long drive with this 8-yard rushing TD:


TE George Kittle turned in his second-straight solid performance after returning from the IR from a calf injury, while WR Brandon Aiyuk returned to his quiet ways on Monday night after posting his best stat line of the season in Week 9.


Corey Saucier (@Deputy_Commish on Twitter, /u/Lights_Kamara_Action on Reddit)


Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

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