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49ers vs. Rams Film Review: Pass protection was impressive

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Here are some extra notes on the 49ers 23-13 win over the St. Louis Rams from Sunday:

-With Joe Staley leaving the game and Joe Looney stepping in at RG while Alex Boone became the LT, the offensive line held their ground in protecting Colin Kaepernick. Two of the sacks in the first half were coverage sacks and the team adjusted well in the second half by not allowing any pressure. Boone was phenomenal at LT while blocking Robert Quinn from any action as a pass rusher.

-I thought Tony Jerod-Eddie had another solid game as the substitute DE with Ray McDonald. Some wonder why Tank Carradine has not made his NFL debut as Jerod-Eddie is a major reason behind it. The backup DE specialized at run stopping when needed but he also showed awareness when breaking up one screen play. Both Carradine and Quinton Dial look like developmental projects for 2015 and beyond with the success of Jerod-Eddie thus far.

-The importance of Michael Crabtree showed in the passing game with multiple WR sets. Greg Roman would rarely play with 3 WRs lined up with Vernon Davis included. The increased time for Crabtree means less time for Mario Manningham as he only had 16 snaps. Crabtree opened up the game with Trumaine Johnson covering him, which later became Janoris Jenkins.

-With the defense focusing on Crabtree, Anquan Boldin became wide open several times. The veteran WR was able to slip between the zone defenses on third down and made it rough for Janoris Jenkins in the first half when drawing several penalties on the second-year CB.

-This was a decent game for Donte Whitner and Tramaine Brock as I thought they both did well in coverage. Both guys were not targeted for most of the afternoon, leading to only positives for each player. Brock had one breakup which shows why the 49ers and Trent Baalke had faith in him as he signed a contract extension last week.

-It wasn't a good game for Carlos Rogers despite what the box score indicates. He was beaten several times and was fortunate Kellen Clemens didn't see the open receivers. There were also times where Chris Givens or Jared Cook would end up dropping passes that were catchable, giving the 49ers major breaks.

-Jim Harbaugh said after the game how Glenn Dorsey was a standout on defense. After film review, the NT was consistent at making sure the holes in the Rams ground attack were minimal. On one play, he fought through three blockers, making it easier for NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis to tackle Zac Stacy.

-The one thing the 49ers will need to get better at is the running game. St. Louis won the battle in the trenches as they were able to stop the run without overloading the box. Anthony Davis did his part, but the offensive line couldn't create space and showed why Mike Iupati's presence is valuable.

-San Francisco's special teams coverage units were consistent when covering Tavon Austin. The Rams' prized first-round draft pick was shut down as he couldn't beat anyone along the edges.


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