The San Francisco 49ers were throttled in Week 7, losing 39-10 to the Los Angeles Rams in a game that was close for roughly the first quarter. The 49ers had some opportunities early to make the game interesting, but four turnovers cost them and they dropped to 1-6 with the loss.
Each week, people are curious about Pro Football Focus grades from the game that passed. I am not a huge fan of the subjective aspects of the grading, but they are fun discussion points, and we can figure out some context around the grades. Each week, I’ll take a look at the top five and bottom five graded players on both sides of the ball.
Offensive top 5
LT Joe Staley: 88.7 overall, 89.6/84.1 pass/run block
TE George Kittle: 84.8 overall, 88.7 pass catching, 59.5 run blocking
RB Alfred Morris: 70.8 overall, 76.4 pass blocking
RB Raheem Mostert: 67.1 overall
RT Mike McGlinchey: 61.5 overall, 53.1/65.3 pass/run block
The 49ers struggled in pass protection, but the tackles could have been a lot worse. In reality, it was a matter of Aaron Donald destroying the interior of the line with relative ease. Offensive line work is about teamwork, but there are still individual matchups to be won. As It’s not surprising then that you see all three interior linemen in the bottom five of the team’s Week 7 grades.
Offensive bottom 5
LG Laken Tomlinson: 39.4 overall, 40.8/40.7 pass/run block
TE Garrett Celek: 46.6 overall
RG Mike Person: 49.5 overall, 72.6/40.7 pass/run block
QB C.J. Beathard: 50.6 overall
C Weston Richburg: 52.1 overall, 37.0/55.5 pass/run block
C.J. Beathard was a mess when the Rams got pressure. He was under pressure on 17 of his 35 dropbacks, and was 2-of-9 for 21 yards, with one interception, seven sacks, and a passer rating of 0.0 when under pressure. The turnovers are problematic, but the pressure was intense all day long.
Defensive top 5
DE Arik Armstead: 82.0 overall
DE Solomon Thomas: 77.0 overall
SS Jaquiski Tartt: 72.6 overall
DT DeForest Buckner: 72.3 overall
DB D.J. Reed: 71.4 overall
The 49ers defensive front had been quietly putting together a solid season against the run. Malcolm Brown and Todd Gurley gashed them on Sunday, combining for 128 yards on 28 carries. Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner, and Solomon Thomas all stepped up fairly well against the run. The problem was the defensive reserves, and as we see below, the linebackers in particular.
A highlight was another solid performance by rookie defensive back D.J. Reed. He played two snaps at cornerback after K’Waun Williams got hurt, and then took over at free safety after Adrian Colbert got hurt. He got some slot work last week against Green Bay and some significant free safety work in Weeks 3 and 4. He is quietly turning into a solid depth piece this year.
Defensive bottom 5
LB Fred Warner: 29.2 overall
LB Reuben Foster 29.3 overall
DE Cassius Marsh: 41.6 overall
DL Ronald Blair: 45.0 overall
CB Greg Mabin: 47.7 overall
We’ll have more on Foster in particular, but Sunday was atrocious for Foster and Warner. Both struggled to contain Gurley and Brown, and generally were in the wrong place at the wrong time too frequently. Add in Foster missing three tackles, and it was a poor performance all around for the two linebackers the 49ers are hoping to build the middle of their defense around.