I haven’t actually watched the San Francisco 49ers’ Week 7 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, at least not in its entirety, nor did I see any of it live. But I’m looked at plenty of film and the game was ... somehow uglier than I’d heard, and I think everyone here is well aware of how low my expectations can be.
49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard was sacked seven times for a loss of 49 yards. He threw a pair of interceptions and lost a fumble. It was as ugly as ugly gets, and I am, of course, here to take you through some film review of the sacks allowed.
For this film review, I’m primarily used one .gif per sack, as the coaches’ film angles tended to be pretty good this time around. Al of note: if any of the gifs below appear tiny, click on them or try and open them up in a new tab. Not sure if that issue has been fixed yet.
Assigning blame is a favorite pastime of mine, so let’s keep the intro short and jump right in.
10:07 of 1st Quarter, 2nd-and-16 from SF 45: Beathard sacked for -3 yards (Samson Ebukam)
Right out of the gate, we get an ugly one. This play resulted in a fumble that the Rams recovered. The initial pressure is given up by Weston Richburg, though Mike Person also loses his man at right guard. The sack eventually goes to Mike McGlinchey’s man, but it was after Beathard had been driven out of the pocket by the pressure.
George Kittle is open right away on this play, early enough to where Beathard could fire it off on a timing route and get it over the linebackers — but it’s not a timing route as Beathard is staring down his outside man on the left the entire time. But it’s hard to fault him given how quickly he was under pressure. It appears as though he’s going for Kittle when he’s on the run, but the ball comes out shaky as he’s hit.
3:32 of 1st Quarter, 3rd-and-11 from LA 27: Beathard sacked for -11 yards (Cory Littleton)
There had to have been some kind of miscommunication here on the part of the offensive line and fullback Kyle Juszczyk. McGlinchey goes to block the outside man, as does Juszczyk, and the blitzing player goes right between them. It’s also possible Richburg wasn’t supposed to kick to his left, but it really seems like Juszczyk was the one out of position on this play.
As far as what’s happening downfield, at the time Beathard finishes his drop back, he has the dump-off option underneath, but it’s a 3rd-and-11. There’s little chance that play gets converted, as the other three routes are still developing by the time Beathard is getting pressured. It does seem odd that Beathard doesn’t try to dump that ball over the blitzing player, but given his earlier turnover, I suppose it makes sense.
13:40 of 2nd Quarter, 3rd-and-13 from SF 22: Beathard sacked for -6 yards (Aaron Donald)
Here, the entire pocket collapses — I can’t tell for sure but it feels like Beathard is supposed to take another step or two back, just given the way the offensive line yielded space on the play. Beathard is eventually sacked by Donald, who beats both Laken Tomlinson and Richburg on the play, while Person blocks his man into McGlinchey, allowing McGlinchey’s man to get around, so he’s right there too.
Both underneath options were obviously open and available, but again it was a long third down. Beathard’s inside man on the left side finds a soft spot in the zone, and well in time for Beathard to throw it, but Beathard never looked his way.
15:00 of 3rd Quarter, 1st-and-10 from SF 25: Beathard sacked for -9 yards (Donald)
This one is just ugly. When Beathard finishes his route, his deep receiver has about 5 yards of buffer to work with. McGlinchey takes his man all the way around, and Beathard trips as he’s trying to get away from McGlinchey’s man. You can also see, in the .gif below, Juszczyk trying reeeeeeeeally hard to not get pushed back, but he gets pushed far.
This one zooms out pretty quickly, so I’ve included the other angle below:
3:29 of 3rd Quarter, 3rd-and-7 from LA 25: Beathard sacked for -8 yards (Littleton)
The Rams rush six, and Juszczyk picks up his man well, but he turns him to his right, where Person is essentially blocking nobody (he is beaten badly off the snap), leaving Tomlinson and Richburg collapsing far to the right as well. When Beathard finishes his dropback, he’s got receivers open underneath, but the Rams are so good at closing I’m fairly certain they would have managed to pick it if the ball were thrown to the center option, which is where Beathard was looking when he was pressured.
13:44 of 4th Quarter, 1st-and-10 from SF 9: Beathard sacked for -5 yards (Donald)
Joe Staley goes far out to his left, and Tomlinson is so slow off the snap that Michael Brockers manages to get right by him. Raheem Mostert throws his body in there, but he basically bounced right off of Brockers and into Beathard. Person and Richburg do well on the play, but both Garrett Celek and McGlinchey are beaten fairly soundly on the other side.
As far as Beathard, it’s a play action, and he has virtually no time to throw the ball, though he has multiple options if any of them happen to be timing routes — he’d have enough time to throw. But it’s hard to fault him on it, as pretty much everyone was slow off the snap. Everyone wearing white, at least.
9:56 of 4th Quarter, 3rd-and-5 from SF 40: Beathard sacked for -9 yards (Donald)
The Rams show an all-out blitz, but they end up rushing five. Juszczyk, McGlinchey, Staley, Tomlinson and Person all hold up their ends of the bargain ... but Richburg can’t contain Donald, who beats him one-on-one, as expected. You can see the finer details of that sack below. Beathard makes a mistake here — he has an open man with space to his left, but pump fakes instead of letting it fly. That would have been a big pickup.