With so much focus on just how poor the San Francisco 49ers and St. Louis Rams have been at getting sacks leading up to Monday's Week 6 game, one of these teams was bound to have a productive day rushing the passer. Fortunately, that turned out to be the 49ers, as the managed to get five sacks in a winning effort in St. Louis.
Actually, it was six sacks, but a ticky tacky penalty called the play back. Of course, they can't take back the damage that's done to St. Louis quarterback Austin Davis, who was also hit multiple times on other plays just after he managed to get the ball away. Both Aaron Lynch and Ray McDonald got a piece of Davis a few times, though neither wound up getting a sack.
Usually, I do a breakdown of each sack allowed by the 49ers but they didn't allow any this week. That isn't to say that the line was flawless -- Colin Kaepernick was still pressured quite a bit -- but this week I'm going to focus on the sacks the 49ers got. I think breaking down San Francisco's offensive line is a little more interesting so the writeups will be shorter, but I've got some GIFs of each sack below for your enjoyment.
12:40 in 1st Quarter, 2nd and 6 at SF 32: Davis sacked for -9 yards (Skuta), penalty on Brooks -- No Play
To start, we've got the play that was called back due to an illegal hands to the face penalty on Ahmad Brooks. He's on the left side and yes, it looks like he hit the other guy in the face briefly but I still maintain this is one of the stupidest penalties in the NFL. Hands to the face, especially in the trenches, happens on every play. If you can point out a play in which at least one person doesn't do it, I'll ... not really do anything, but still.
Whatever the case, Dan Skuta really should have had three sacks. It was the start of a very productive day for him.
5:47 in 1st Quarter, 1st and 10 at STL 41: Davis sacked for -7 yards (Brooks)
It didn't take long for Brooks to make up for the penalty. Lance Kendricks had absolutely no chance of stopping him around the left side, and quarterback Austin Davis never comes close to seeing him. It's about as routine as a Brooks sack gets at this point. The rest of the 49ers' rush was contained, so it's nice that Brooks was able to exploit that matchup.
10:10 in 2nd Quarter, 1st and 10 at STL 29: Davis sacked for -8 yards (Skuta)
This one was just Skuta making Jake Long look like utter garbage. Look at that play. Just look at it! Long has no chance to stop Skuta whatsoever, and Davis, once again, doesn't see it coming. The play winds up being a fumble, but the Rams manage to recover it.
8:46 in 2nd Quarter, 3rd and 8 at STL 31: Davis sacked for -1 yard (Skuta)
So after the Rams recover the fumble ... Skuta gets ahold of Davis again. This time he's blocked well initially, but Justin Smith generates some pressure by beating Long on the left side, and that forces Davis to move in the pocket. Skuta managed to trip Davis, and Lynch comes over to finish the tackle and ensure he doesn't try and get any extra yards out of it. Officially, Skuta gets full credit for the sack.
9:18 in 3rd Quarter, 2nd and 7 at STL 23: Davis sacked for -4 yards (Brooks)
What I love about this play is obvious: Brooks doing his patented jump as though he's going to tip a pass. He had a solid one last week, but this one was the result of Davis effectively faking him. Though after he goads Brooks into jumping, Davis wasn't really do anything, and Brooks managed to get the sack on a second effort.
14:25 in 4th Quarter, 1st and 10 at STL 32: Davis sacked for -5 yards (Bethea)
Speaking of second effort, here's safety Antoine Bethea getting past his man and eventually getting a hold of Davis' leg. It's hard to see there but it's definitely Bethea who forces the sack. Bethea also forces the initial pressure by giving rookie running back Tre Mason much more than he bargained for. All in all, it was a pretty solid day for the 49ers' pass rush.