San Francisco 49ers

Report card: 49ers unbeaten in 2016 ... vs. the Rams

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Tavon Austin scores as San Francisco 49ers inside linebacker Michael Wilhoite looks on during the first half of an NFL football game Saturday, Dec. 24, 2016, in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Tavon Austin scores as San Francisco 49ers inside linebacker Michael Wilhoite looks on during the first half of an NFL football game Saturday, Dec. 24, 2016, in Los Angeles. AP

Offense: The middle of the game featured seven consecutive 49ers punts, then a fumble. That snoozefest, however, was forgotten after Colin Kaepernick led two touchdown drives in the fourth quarter and Chip Kelly went for a two-point conversion and the win. Grade: B

Defense: Entering the game, the 49ers had one interception by a cornerback this season. They had two Saturday. Tramaine Brock’s pickoff led to a first-quarter touchdown, and Rashard Robinson’s sealed the victory with 13 seconds left. Meanwhile, a 49ers run defense that has leaked all season held the Rams to 99 yards. Grade: B+

Special teams: Pharoh Cooper’s 51-yard kickoff return to his 48 set up the Rams’ first touchdown drive. The 49ers also flubbed a chance to pin Los Angeles at its goal line at the end of the first half. One of the best things about San Francisco’s special teams this season is Jeremy Kerley’s reliability returning punts. Grade: C

Overall: The 49ers will not finish with the worst record in franchise history thanks to two wins against the Rams. They could even avoid tying the franchise-worst 2-14 record next week against Seattle. How hard the Seahawks fight might depend on whether they can improve their playoff position with a win. Grade: B+

Matt Barrows: @mattbarrows, read more about the team at sacbee.com/sf49ers.

  Comments