Let's call this the bounce-back edition. It fits the larger team narrative: after a couple of dreadfully flat performances against the Seahawks and the Colts, the 49ers responded with a bounce-back performance, trouncing the St. Louis Rams to the tune of 35-11.
So, I thought it might be fun to look at the stats of some players who had a big game against the Rams after having a disappointing game against the Colts. The mark of a good player is always overcoming previous adversity.
NaVorro Bowman: 5.5 PFF grade, 5 Tackles, 1 Assist, 2.0 Sacks, and 1 Forced Fumble.
After a pretty harsh week against the Colts, in which Mr. Bowman accrued a -1.9 rating from ProFootballFocus, Bowman responded with a huge week. One amazing aspect of Bowman's otherworldly 5.5 rating is that he actually received a pretty horrid -1.9 pass coverage score. But, that was not enough to counter his incredibly scores in run defense (1.8) and pass rush (5.5). Bowman essentially did, on top of what he normally does, what Patrick Willis and Aldon Smith would have done had they been playing. When an ILB can surprise 49er fans with outstanding play, then it is easily a game for the books.
Joe Staley: 6.2 PFF grade
There is a reason why every 49er fan held their collective breaths when Mr. Staley went down screaming, and this game was a perfect representation of why. Staley, scoring an insane 6.2 (a near career-high, eclipsed only by a 6.8 in 2008), excelled in both pass blocking and run blocking. Staley appeared to set the edge quite well, and PFF agrees, giving him a nice 1.6 rating in pass blocking. But, it should come as no surprise, Staley had an even better game run blocking: PFF gave him a 4.1. In contrast, he had a -1.1 score against the Colts, particularly due to his -1.6 pass blocking.
Tarell Brown: 2.8 PFF grade, 6 Tackles, 1 Assist, 4 Defensed Passes.
Like Bowman, Brown also did a bit of everything really well. He led the team in tackles, notching six. He added 4 defensed passes to the list. PFF, thus, gave him the great ranking of 2.8 overall. While PFF wasn't high on his run defense (giving him a 0.1), they were really impressed with his pass coverage. He scored a 2.4. I think we can all agree that the secondary needs all the help it can get. Last week against the Colts is a great example: when we were getting whipped by the Colts (admittedly, more on the ground than through the air), Brown was falling apart in the secondary. He scored a -3.3 according to PFF; this was the worst pass coverage score of the day for any 49er.