Around the NFL  

 

Colin Kaepernick throws for 300 in win over Rams

Print

On the strength of Colin Kaepernick's third career game over 300 passing yards, the San Francisco 49ers went into St. Louis and handed the Rams a 31-17 loss Monday night. Our takeaways:

1. The 49ers' offense stumbled out of the gate, with a creaky Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree adding nothing to the aerial attack. Taking advantage of a Jared Cook offensive pass interference penalty that thwarted a St. Louis scoring drive just before halftime, Kaepernick hit Brandon Lloyd on an 80-yard double move that burned Janoris Jenkins and put the 49ers back in a game the Rams had been dominating. Playing a clean game, Kaepernick ended up hitting three touchdown passes in a 15-minute span to take control. The highlight was extending the play and hitting Anquan Boldin with a beautiful off-balance, cross-body floater over Jenkins' outstretched hand for an 11-yard touchdown.

2. Blitz-happy Rams coordinator Gregg Williams has a reputation as one of the NFL's premier defensive coaches. In his first season with the Rams, his defense has set a record for lowest sack total (1.0) over a five-game span. Robert Quinn, a legitimate Defensive Player of the Year candidate in 2013 with 19 sacks and seven forced fumbles, has been shut out in both categories through five games this season.

3. Going back to last season, the Around The NFL Podcast has called out Rams play-caller Brian Schottenheimer for an unimaginative offense. Schottenheimer deserves credit for unveiling different formations and personnel groupings to open Monday night's game with a 14-0 lead. Tavon Austin was finally used in the Percy Harvin role, with three first-quarter carries and an in-motion diversion on a 24-yard Tre Mason run. Once Schottenheimer's scripted plays ran out, though, the Rams offense went in the tank. Every offensive series from the second quarter through the middle of the fourth quarter ended with a punt.

4. Taking chances down the field, Austin Davis was coming off a three-game stretch unmatched in Sam Bradford's entire career. After a highly impressive first quarter, that progress came screeching to a halt when Vic Fangio blitzed him heavily the rest of the way. Davis sealed the Rams' fate with a pick-six down seven points with a minute remaining.

5. This was a costly win for the 49ers. All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis (toe), rookie nickelback Jimmie Ward (quadriceps) and Pro Bowl guard Mike Iupati (concussion) were all lost to injuries. Veteran wide receiver Stevie Johnson took a knee to his glute on a late-game onside kick, but said the injury isn't serious

5. Janoris Jenkins is symbolic of a Rams secondary that has been victimized by busted coverages this season. A gambler in the DeAngelo Hall mold, Jenkins was tested with double moves by the 49ers receivers throughout the game.

7. Monday night marked the debut of Rams rookies and former Auburn stars Greg Robinson and Tre Mason. Robinson held his own at left guard, while Mason led the Rams' backfield with 52 yards from scrimmage.

8. Safety Antoine Bethea and cornerback Perrish Cox are enjoying Pro Bowl-caliber seasons in the 49ers' secondary.

9. The Brandon Lloyd flier has paid off in a big way for the Niners. He has made a game-changing, momentum-swinging play in each of the past two weeks.

We recap all the Week 6 action on a jaunty edition of the "Around The NFL Podcast." Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

Print