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49ers-Rams snap counts and grades: The 2023 season is in the books

One final recap from Week 18

Los Angeles Rams v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Sunday’s season finale ended in a 21-20 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, and the 49ers finished the season 12-5. Some starters played the entire game, while others didn’t suit up. Brock Purdy, George Kittle, Christian McCaffrey, and other starters were inactive.

Let’s look at the snap counts and grades from Sunday’s game. The grade will be listed in parentheses.

Quarterback - Sam Darnold, 61 (73.0)

It was a typical Sam Darnold performance, with impressive and head-scratching moments. Darnold finished at 16-for-26, 189 yards, 7.3 yards per attempt, and a passing and rushing touchdown.

Darnold had a PFF grade of 85.5 when kept clean. He went 11 of 16 for 99 yards, added a touchdown, and was credited with a big-time throw. Eight of those throws resulted in first downs.

He also had two drops on the final two drives by Ray-Ray McCloud and Chris Conley.

When he was under pressure, Darnold’s yards per attempt went up over three yards to 9.0. He completed 50 percent of his passes and had a “turnover-worthy” throw.

But Darnold fumbled on the game-closing drive. That’s how this performance will be remembered.

Running Back - Elijah Mitchell, 32 (67.8), Jordan Mason, 27 (67.3), Kyle Juszczyk, 14 (60.6)

Elijah Mitchell rushed for 52 yards on 14 attempts and a touchdown. He forced two missed tackles and averaged 2.36 yards after contact.

Jordan Mason was more efficient with his carries, adding 36 yards on six attempts. Mason rushed for three first downs and added a run for a gain of 16 yards.

Kyle Juszczyk played limited snaps on Sunday to stay sharp for the divisional round.

Wide Receiver - Chris Conley, 43 (64.5), Ronnie Bell, 38 (59.6), Ray-Ray McCloud III, 36 (63.9), Brandon Aiyuk 23 (89.9), Deebo Samuel, 20 (59.2)

Conley led the team in receiving with 69 yards on three receptions, thanks to a 48-yard reception down the sideline. But his drop toward the end of the game was costly.

Brandon Aiyuk finished his season with three receptions for 25 yards. Aiyuk finished the season with the highest perception of receptions resulting in first downs at 83 percent.

McCloud added three receptions of his own for 22 yards, and Deebo Samuel finished his campaign with 21 more yards on two catches.

Tight End - Charlie Woerner, 47 (57.5), Brayden Willis, 25 (57.9)

Not known for his receiving ability, Charlie Woerner had one catch for 20 yards. That was all from the tight-end group on Sunday. Football is more fun when George Kittle plays.

Offensive Line - Spencer Burford, 61 (54.6), Aaron Banks, 61 (73.2), Jaylon Moore, (64.9), Colton McKivitz, 45 (70.0), Jake Brendel, 45 (61.6), Ben Bartch, 16 (73.6), Matt Pryor, 16 (83.3), Trent Williams 12 (56.1)

The snap counts for the line are telling. Kyle Shanahan and the coaching staff tell us that Burford and Banks are the players they feel need the most work heading into the playoffs.

Jaylon Moore had a rough outing, allowing five pressures, four hurries, and a sack, but finished with a 62.1 pass-blocking grade. Jake Brendel finished with a 24.5 pass-blocking grade despite allowing only one pressure and hurry.

Of the regular linemen, Colton McKivitz finished with the highest offensive grade, but Matt Pryor finished with an 83.3 grade on only 16 snaps.

Defensive Line - Chase Young, 57 (65.7), Kevin Givens, 44 (60.9), Randy Gregory, 41 (48.3), Javon Kinlaw, 38 (67.1), Sebastian Joseph-Day, 33 (72.4), Robert Beal Jr. 24, (68.3), Javon Hargrave, 17 (30.3), Nick Bosa, 8 (61.2), Clelin Ferrell 6 (56.6)

Chase Young logged the most snaps in his 49ers career and finished with four pressures and hurries. The 49ers want to get Young as many live reps as possible in their scheme, so it makes sense why he played the most snaps along the defensive line.

Robert Beal Jr. logged his first career sack on Sunday. Javon Kinlaw, Nick Bosa, and Kevin Givens added one pressure each.

Linebackers - Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles, 55 (67.8), Oren Burks, 53 (48.9), Dee Winters, 14 (57.0), Fred Warner, 12 (50.5)

Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles and Oren Burks finished with five tackles. DFF and Burks graded well in the tackling department, with 80.4 and 81.4 grades, respectively.

Secondary - Isaiah Oliver, 67 (74.0), Tayler Hawkins, 67 (34.2), Logan Ryan, 67 (69.3), Darrell Luter Jr., 44 (71.6), Samuel Womack III, 44 (54.2), Deommodore Lenoir, 23 (69.7), Charvarius Ward, 23 (31.2)

Tayler Hawkins may not have graded well but contributed with an interception. He’s being penalized too harshly for a late defensive pass interference.

Isaiah Oliver finished with the best coverage grade of 76.4. Darrell Luter Jr didn’t allow a catch in 19 coverage snaps. Samuel Womack III allowed three catches on three targets.