CM – 49ers’ Studs and Duds: Armstead dominates, Deebo does everything, Thomas secures playoff spot

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The 49ers made up a 17-0 deficit with physical play, had a chance to take a late lead, and then burned to death after a poor pass from Jimmy Garoppolo and a long shot from the Rams, mostly from Cooper Kupp was written.

And then Garoppolo and his recipients wrote a last minute drive to force overtime. Then they did it again to score in overtime before an interception by Ambry Thomas sealed the 49ers’ sixth straight win over the Rams and a trip to Dallas next week.

Finish the Rams’ opening drive with a sack of Matt Stafford forcing a field goal attempt. Then combined with Nick Bosa for a third down sack in the Rams’ last possession in the first half. Came back for one last sack at the last regulation game.

The Rams stormed 15 times for 14 yards in the first half when the defensive line and linebackers of the 49ers swallowed Sony Michel and Cam Akers. Unfortunately for the Niners, Los Angeles was also allowed to pass football in the first half.

Again and again Elijah Mitchell collected additional meters after contact. Deebo Samuel and JaMychal Hasty followed suit, but it was Mitchell who forced the problem, breaking tackles and falling forward to drag the 49ers into play and wear down the Rams’ defenses.

There was a lot of red in the stands at SoFi, which is nothing new for 49ers games in Southern California. But while the Rams were playing for a chance at the division crown, the Faithful were still making their mark.

Samuel did everything for the 49ers. He lunged for a touchdown, threw another at Jauan Jennings, then deep out and ran it for a 55 yard win to give the Niners one last breath. He added the first productive overtime to point the 49ers in the right direction for a shot on goal.

Aiyuk helped kick off the 49ers offense in the late drive of the first half with catches of 19 and 26 yards, then found himself wide open on the left sideline for a 31-yard pass on the opening drive of the second Half again.

He had two touchdown catches, but more impressive was his 34-yard catch and run in overtime, which turned a third down and brought the 49ers into the scoring area.

A sack in the fourth quarter next to Key gave the ball back to the Niners, but Warner flew across the field all day. He registered eight tackles from Rams ball carriers throughout the game and was an important figure in the effort to fill the barrel. He also won the overtime coin toss.

Thomas has been maligned year-round for his inability to play the ball. In the end, he found the ball in the air on Stafford’s last pass attempt to Odell Beckham Jr. and ended the game with an interception.

After punter Mitch Wishnowsky was eliminated with a head injury, Gould stepped into the duties of poking and smashing the task, actually trumping Wishnowsky with 90 yards on two pokes.

Juszczyk took on Wishnowsky’s other duty, recording all of Gould’s field goal attempts that were 2 for 2 and extra points that were 3 for 3.

In the first half there was no indication that Garoppolo would find himself at the positive end of this evaluation. But he overcame a fumble, a truly ugly interception, and a thumb injury that was apparently very painful to get his team back into the game.

In the first half he was an obvious dud. Then he helped his team make a massive comeback. Then he threw it away. And then he led her back again.

Handicapped by a thumb injury, the quarterback and captain of the Niners struggled without his top protector in Trent Williams. Fired from San Francisco on the second drive, Garoppolo fumbled the ball. On the Niners’ third drive, he wobbled a deep pass that was intercepted. With a chance to take the lead in the middle of the fourth quarter, he threw to a well-covered George Kittle for an interception by Jalen Ramsey.

A costly penalty in the first quarter was followed by a more costly penalty in the fourth quarter. Returning from a groin injury that has cost him most of his season, Greenlaw recorded 12 team-level tackles but injured his team at a key moment and things could have been worse had he been called to another deserved unnecessary roughness penalty .
Johnson was forced into a tough matchup with Cooper Kupp, giving Kupp a 46-yard finish after a deep crossing pattern in the game’s first possession.

Jimmie Ward
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Kupp burned Ward for a long third-down finish on the Rams’ fourth-quarter scoring drive. He then hit Ward for the starting gun in the left corner of the end zone.

We don’t rate opposing players in studs and duds, but Kupp has worked hard to top the studs category anyway.

Stayed in good position, but suffered from the old Bugaboo of not being able to play the ball on Tyler Higbee’s second touchdown catch, a 15-yard catch on a third down that would otherwise turn the Rams into a field goal. Attempt would have forced.

If it wasn’t Johnson or Thomas it was something else, like no one covering higbee on their first touchdown catch. Higbee sold a block well four-and-one within the Niners’ 5-yard line, but the 49ers couldn’t cover him at all, and he was only one of two players to run a route in the game. This is an obvious running situation in many games, but with the Rams’ floor play stuttering and Stafford getting to the point, the likelihood of a pass needs to be factored into DeMeco Ryan’s call to play.

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