San Francisco's defense shined in the 49ers 23-20 victory over the Los Angeles Rams. The 49ers forced four turnovers on Sunday, tied for their most takeaways in a single game this season (Week 7 vs. New England Patriots - 4) and limited the Rams offense to under 200 yards passing, their lowest output of the season. Jeff Deeney of Pro Football Focus highlighted several 49ers who had standout performances in the thrilling divisional win. Here's who stood out:
1. Jimmie Ward - 94.7 Overall Grade
Following Sunday's victory, cornerback Richard Sherman spoke with the media and called Ward "one of the best safeties in the NFL". Ward earned a career-high overall grade on Sunday by forcing two fumbles, knocking the ball loose from Rams running back Malcolm Brown and quarterback Jared Goff. His two forced fumbles were the first of his career. He registered three run stops on the day and allowed just three catches on eight targets for 16 yards. He also recorded a pass breakup in coverage. Ward's 94.7 overall grade is the second-highest grade of any defender this week, regardless of position or snap count.
2. Javon Kinlaw - 91.6 Overall Grade
A game after he recorded his first-career sack, San Francisco's rookie defensive lineman may have had the highlight play of the 49ers Week 12 match. Kinlaw hauled in his first-career interception on a pass from Goff intended for Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp. The rookie returned the ball 27 yards for his first-career defensive touchdown while earning a career-high overall grade on the day.
3. Laken Tomlinson - 87.8 Overall Grade
San Francisco's left guard earned the highest grade on offense on Sunday. Tomlinson did not allow a single quarterback pressure and also had a run blocking grade of 82.4. Tomlinson's 75.8 overall grade on the season ranks 10th among all NFL guards heading into Monday night's contest.
4. Deebo Samuel - 84.5 Overall Grade
In his first game back after missing four weeks to injury, Samuel led the 49ers with 11 receptions on 13 targets for a season-high 133 yards. The second-year wideout recorded 136 yards after the catch (including yards lost). His yards after catch per reception is the most among receivers with 25-plus receptions in 2020 (1. Samuel - 12.9, 2. A.J. Brown - 7.9, 3. Danny Amendola - 7.6). Samuel forced six missed tackles against the Rams, the most of any NFL wideout in Week 12.
5. Richard Sherman - 80.4 Overall Grade
Sherman made his return in Week 12 after missing nine games due to a calf injury. The veteran corner allowed just one catch on two targets for 9 yards and registered two run stops in his return. He also recorded an interception of Goff, his first for the season and 36th of his career. Sherman also registered two run stops. In his two games this season, he has allowed a passer rating of a mere 22.9 to opposing quarterbacks.
Hyder Jr. registered five quarterback pressures against the Rams including two sacks on the day, his first multi-sack game since 2016. He leads the 49ers with 7.5 sacks and nine quarterback pressures on the season. San Francisco's pass rusher also recorded a fumble recovery, his first of the season.
Goff had a 35.9 overall grade in Week 12, his worst since his rookie season against the 49ers (Week 16 of 2016 - 34.3). Goff was 1-of-7 for 30 yards and an interception on throws of 10-plus yards downfield on Sunday.