It was a perfect day for a football game in Los Angeles. Cool crisp air and skies so clear you could see the Hollywood sign and the downtown skyline from the Coliseum. It started out with the San Francisco 49ers scoring the first touchdown, but then as things have gone all season, the 21 unanswered points by the opposing team. This week, however, the players wrote a new ending for their weekly story and had their first comeback win of the season that ended with the final score of 22-21 after a gutsy two point conversion.
Here are your winners and losers for the 49ers match up against the Rams:
Kaepernick who has had a challenging season in the second halves of games (along with his offense) looked like he was heading down the same path in Los Angeles. This week, however, the flood gates opened in the fourth quarter after seven straight punts in the middle of the game and the QB drove the team down the field twice, rushing for one touchdown himself and throwing another to WR Rod Streater from 10 yards out. He capped off his performance by running for the winning two point conversion.
The offensive lineman has not only played productively in three different positions in the last month but rallied the troops with a motivational speech that sparked the offense in the fourth quarter. Several players spoke about his talk and we will have more on this soon.
The Rams have been struggling this season but that doesn’t mean the game was going to be easy for the 49ers defense. Other floundering offenses that the 49ers have faced, have looked like they were pro bowlers. This week was different. The 49ers held the Rams to 177 yards of total offense, 99 on the ground and 78 through the air. QB Jared Goff was sacked four times, once each by Ahmad Brooks, Eli Harold, DeForest Buckner and Ronald Blair. Todd Gurley hasn’t broken the 100 yard mark this season and the 49ers defense only allowed him 67 yards, although his performance did include one rushing touchdown.
The 49ers morale
Losing 13 games in a row has taken its toll on the mental state of the team. The attitude, albeit better than last season, seemed to wither away after the loss in Chicago. Fans may have been clamoring for the team to tank for the number one draft pick, but the team plays to win and that’s what they did. The emotions were real and raw on the sidelines after Rashard Robinson secured the win with his interception near the end of the game.
Hyde, who was held just 15 yards shy of hitting the 1,000 yards rushing landmark for the season did have one rushing touchdown on the day but was held to 38 yards on the ground and three receptions for 24 yards. I was going to put him in the winning category until he left the game with what looked like a brutal knee bend that went anyway except the correct way. He is optimistic nothing is broken but he is scheduled to have an MRI on Monday.
The 49ers offense in the middle of the game
Seven straight punts for the 49ers offense during the second and third quarters.
The viewers in the middle of the game
Thirteen straight punts for both offenses combined during the second and third quarters.
The 49ers draft position
The Cleveland Browns beat the San Diego Chargers, so another loss by the 49ers would ensure the number one draft pick would be going to Santa Clara if all things remained the same until the end of the season. As fate would have it, the 49ers win, so as of right now, the Browns still have the number one pick and the 49ers would still have the second.