What We Saw: Week 2

Catch up on everything you missed from Week 2

49ers @ Rams

Final Score: 49ers 30, Rams 23

Writer: Ryan Radel (@RadelFF on Twitter)


This Sunday evening matchup between the Rams and the 49ers ended up being way more interesting than I anticipated. On paper, it might look like the 49ers had this game under control since the opening whistle, but this game was fun to watch till the very end. Matthew Stafford threw the ball 55 times, 20 of which were sent Puka Nacua‘s way (no, that isn’t a typo), while Cam Akers ended up being a DNP-Coaches Decision. Christian McCaffrey continued to display his freakish athletic ability as he helped the 49ers take home another road victory to help them open up the season 2-0. The Rams now fall to 1-1.



Three Up

  • Puka Nacua – 20 targets, 15 receptions, 147 yards. This guy is breaking records left and right.
  • Deebo Samuel – Even with CMC carrying the load in the rushing game, Deebo still manages to leave his mark.
  • Kyren Williams – The surprise Cam Akers scratch created a boatload of opportunity for Kyren Williams, and he delivered. 100 scrimmage yards and two scores on 20 touches.

Three Down

  • Van Jefferson – The emergence of both Puka Nacua and Tutu Atwell has made Jefferson an afterthought in this passing offense.
  • Cam Akers – The relationship between the Rams and Cam Akers continues to puzzle me.
  • George Kittle – I hesitated to put Kittle down here but three targets are tough to ignore.






Brock Purdy: 17/25, 206 Yards, Sack | 3 Carries, 5 Yards, TD, 1 Fumble (Recovered)


Brock Purdy continues to display his understanding of head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense. The former “Mr. Irrelevant” will always have me rooting for him. You can see his love for the game every snap. He didn’t put up mind-blowing stats passing the ball, but, he didn’t need to as the 49ers were in the lead for the majority of the game. Purdy missed his throw on at least three deep balls, which could have impacted his stat line tremendously. In the end, Purdy once again shows why he was chosen to lead this offense over other options.



Running Back


Christian McCaffrey: 20 Carries, 116 Yards, TD | 3 Targets, 3 Receptions, 19 Yards


This is now back-to-back games where Christian McCaffrey gashed the opposing defense for a 50+ yard run. Needless to say, this type of play is a total game-changer for both the scoreboard and momentum. Be it busting a big run to the outside, reeling in passes for first downs, or delivering punishing runs up the middle, McCaffrey looks like he is playing in the same form as his best seasons in Carolina. With Shanahan calling plays, there’s a lot less pressure on him to carry the team which will hopefully extend his career.



Wide Receiver/Tight End


Deebo Samuel: 5 Carries, 38 Yards, TD | 9 Targets, 6 Receptions, 63 Yards


Deebo Samuel led the 49ers in targets serving as their primary pass-catcher while also managing to leave his mark in the rushing game. If Purdy was a little more accurate, this stat line could’ve been even better. Shanahan schemes Deebo into his playcalling any chance he reasonably can. The 49ers didn’t need to throw the ball a bunch, but Deebo stayed involved with five carries on top of his nine targets in the passing game. His rushing touchdown displayed some fancy footwork in case you needed a reminder as to why he is so special:



Brandon Aiyuk: 6 Targets, 3 Receptions, 43 Yards


After going bonkers in week one, Brandon Aiyuk came back down to Earth in this Week 2 showing. As already mentioned, the rushing attack became the primary focus as the game went on in an effort to run the clock out, which eliminated much of the ceiling of Aiyuk’s fantasy day. The gamescript combined with a first quarter injury Aiyuk played through put a lid on it. Head Coach Kyle Shanahan doesn’t think the injury is serious. 


George Kittle: 3 Targets, 3 Receptions, 30 Yards


George Kittle brought in 100% of his targets this week, but it was only three targets that resulted in 30 yards. Another victim of the offense focusing on running the ball, Kittle was an afterthought in the offensive game plan once the 49ers took the lead and transitioned more into a run-blocking role to help grind out the clock. The three targets are concerning, but, gamescript was a major factor in the result.


Jauan Jennings: 3 Targets, 2 Receptions, 51 Yards








Matthew Stafford: 34/55, 307 Yards, TD, 2 INT, Sack | 4 Carries, 17 Yards


After a very solid first half to keep the Rams close, Matthew Stafford had some costly errors as the Rams were eventually unable to keep up on offense. 55 passing attempts is a lot no matter how you cut it. In this offense, though, the passing game acts as an extension of the run game. Still, 55 passing attempts make my shoulder hurt just reading it. The 49ers’ defense, especially their front seven, is going to cause problems for any offense. Stafford’s accuracy numbers took a hit as he had to rush some throws but generally, the Rams passing game kept it short and sweet. Ideally, you wouldn’t want to see any turnovers at all, but considering the circumstances and amount of attempts, it could’ve been way worse.


Running Back


Kyren Williams: 14 Carries, 52 Yards, TD | 10 Targets, 6 Receptions, 48 Yards, TD


The surprise (at least to me) healthy scratch of Cam Akers created a boatload of opportunity for Kyren Williams. Williams stepped up the the challenge, racking up 100 scrimmage yards and two scores as he looked like a key cog in the game plan. The 49ers’ defensive line is no joke, and the Rams tried to counter that strength by deploying Williams to be a little more shifty and elusive than Cam Akers, and it worked. His efficiency wasn’t amazing on the ground, but he was able to slam a six-yard score home in the second quarter. On top of the 14 carries, the game script aided Williams in adding another 10 targets, pushing his designed touch total to 24. The day could’ve been even better if Kyren didn’t stone-hands a pass in the third quarter which led to an opposing field goal.


Ronnie Rivers: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 4 Yards



Wide Receiver/Tight End


Puka Nacua: 2 Carries, 4 Yards | 20 Targets, 15 Receptions, 147 Yards


TWENTY TARGETS. 20. TWO ZERO. I cannot overstate how bananas 20 targets is. According to my research, not a single player received 20 targets in 2022. A couple of players received 19, one of which was Cooper Kupp.  As I mentioned previously, the Rams’ passing attack is at times an extension of their rushing game. A lot of crossing routes underneath create an opportunity for receivers to get loose and pick up 5-10 yards a catch if not more. As long as Kupp remains sidelined and Puka is healthy he should continue to see targets funneled his way. Puka has now broken a handful of records in a variety of categories, both rookie and non-rookie. I encourage you to Google it.



Tutu Atwell: 1 Carry, 5 Yards | 9 Targets, 7 Receptions, 77 Yards


Paling in comparison to 20 targets, Tutu Atwell still had a respectable day, especially in PPR formats. Tutu is not going to get many looks in the red zone due to his size, so his scoring chances will rely on his ability to run after the catch. Tutu has now brought in over 75% of his targets across two games (17 total targets) as he plays Robin to Puka’s Batman while Kupp is out. This offense is designed to get the ball into the hands of playmakers which should hopefully benefit Tutu, especially against lesser defenses.


Tyler Higbee: 7 Targets, 3 Receptions, 12 Yards


The good: seven targets. The bad: only catching three of them for 12 yards. Higbee has the opportunity in the offense, especially without Cooper Kupp, but he needs to capitalize when given the chance.


Van Jefferson: 4 Targets, 1 Reception, 9 Yards



Thanks for reading!! See you next week.


One response to “What We Saw: Week 2”

  1. jrjanowi says:

    Great Packers/Falcons write-up by Mr. Prendergast–detailed and entertaining

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