With the San Francisco 49ers stunned at home to the St. Louis Rams by a score of 13-10 on Sunday, it will draw two film review articles for the week. This portion will take a deeper look at the eight sacks allowed.
St. Louis was ranked as the worst pass rushing team coming into this game as they only had six sacks on the season. They were missing Chris Long due to injury, but still had several defensive linemen who have been highly touted including Aaron Donald, Robert Quinn and Michael Brockers.
Joe Staley said the team had a good practice, but the results were shocking. After the game, he felt that there were things he didn’t like in the first place.
“We have all the talent in the world,” Staley said. “We’ve been doing some dumb stuff and they took advantage of it. [This includes] penalties, dumb blocks, dumb techniques and dumb schemes.”
After re-watching every sack with an open mind, here is what I can explain for each sack:
Sack 1: Colin Kaepernick sacked by DE William Hayes for a 7-yard loss
Personnel on the field: Bruce Miller, Brandon Lloyd, Carlos Hyde, Vernon Davis, Vance McDonald
Time of the sack: 8:44 remaining in the first quarter, 1st and 10 from the San Francisco 36-yard line.
Reality: The 49ers were depending on their offensive line to block as all others were out as receivers. Kaepernick had Hyde for a quick dump off, but Anthony Davis was completely beaten by Hayes on the play. Aaron Donald was also there as backup as he beat Alex Boone as a follow up.
Sack 2: Kaepernick sacked by LB James Laurinaitis for an 8-yard loss
Personnel on the field: Michael Crabtree, Stevie Johnson, Anquan Boldin, Vernon Davis, Frank Gore
Time of the sack: 14:16 remaining in the second quarter, 3rd and 10 from the San Francisco 35-yard line.
Reality: The Rams blitzed Laurinaitis and Alex Ogletree on the left side and dropped DT Aaron Donald back in coverage as he was in the middle of the field. Marcus Martin, Frank Gore and Joe Staley each had one guy blocked. Mike Iupati was not was able to pick up Laurinaitis as he thought he would block Donald. Laurinaitis had an easy path the Kaepernick for the sack.
Sack 3: Kaepernick sacked by DE Hayes for a 5-yard loss
Personnel on the field: Frank Gore, Michael Crabtree, Stevie Johnson, Vernon Davis, Anquan Boldin
Time of the sack: 7:43 remaining in the second quarter, 2nd and 6 from the San Francisco 43-yard line.
Reality: The 49ers had everybody drop out as receivers depending on their offensive line to protect Kaepernick by themselves. Anthony Davis committed to helping Alex Boone with DT Michael Brockers, leaving DE Hayes unblocked having a wide open path to the quarterback. Joe Staley was also flagged for a holding on Robert Quinn, which was declined.
Sack 4: Kaepernick sacked by DE Robert Quinn for a 4-yard loss
Personnel on the field: Brandon Lloyd, Vance McDonald, Frank Gore, Michael Crabtree, Anquan Boldin
Time of the sack: 5:07 left in the second quarter, 3rd and 3 from the San Francisco 43-yard line.
Reality: McDonald and Gore both stayed back as blockers while the receivers took some time to develop the play. St. Louis blitzed safety T.J. McDonald on the left side while Laurinaitis patiently waited to rush the quarterback himself. Laurinaitis was able to slip between McDonald and Davis to give Kaepernick no path to run, grabbing him around the waist. This gave enough time for Quinn to turn around from Iupati and sack the quarterback from behind.
Sack 5: Kaepernick sacked by DE Quinn for a 10-yard loss, resulting in a fumble recovered by DE Eugene Sims.
Personnel on the field: Vernon Davis, Stevie Johnson, Anquan Boldin, Michael Crabtree, Brandon Lloyd
Time of the sack: 2:08 remaining in the second quarter, 2nd and 1 from the San Francisco 49-yard line.
Reality: The Rams had only three defensive linemen on the play, rushing LB Alex Ogletree from the right and LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar from the middle. Joe Staley was beaten on the left side as Quinn pursued him with speed. Alex Boone also pushed Kaepernick back thanks to Sims as he was out of position to scramble, leaving him wide open for Quinn to sack him. Kaepernick appeared as if he was trying to throw it away, but the bump by Boone and the speed of Quinn prevented this, resulting in the fumble.
Sack 6: Kaepernick sacked by DE Sims for a 3-yard loss.
Personnel on the field: Vernon Davis, Brandon Lloyd, Michael Crabtree, Anquan Boldin, Carlos Hyde
Time of the sack: 19 seconds left in the second quarter, 2nd and 10 from the St. Louis 34-yard line.
Reality: Michael Crabtree appeared to be open after Kaepernick ran to the left and the blocking good at first. However, Marcus Martin could not continue to block Sims where Kaepernick ran right into him rather than dumping it off to Crabtree or running. This resulted in a 55-yard field goal attempt where the wind was blowing in their faces, causing the kick to be short.
Sack 7: Kaepernick sacked by DT Aaron Donald for a 9-yard loss.
Personnel on the field: Bruce Miller, Carlos Hyde, Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davis, Anquan Boldin
Time of the sack: 2:30 remaining in the third quarter, 1st and 10 from the St. Louis 34-yard line.
Reality: Miller and Hyde both broke out as receivers, while Aaron Donald broke free from Marcus Martin up front. It was a basic one-on-one matchup and Martin received no help in the backfield to prevent a sack. Hayes also beat Anthony Davis with a swim move well-behind Donald. This sack knocked the 49ers out of field goal range and forced a punt.
Sack 8: Kaepernick sacked by DT Michael Brockers for a 4-yard loss.
Personnel on the field: Vernon Davis, Vance McDonald, Frank Gore, Brandon Lloyd, Stevie Johnson
Time of the sack: 9:26 left in the fourth quarter, 2nd and 11 from the San Francisco 5-yard line.
Reality: Johnson and Lloyd were the only two receivers on the play and it appeared Vernon Davis could have been a potential safety valve after looking like a blocker. David and McDonald were on the right side as blockers, but it became irrelevant because Brockers beat Marcus Martin in another one-on-one machup. Kaepernick immeidately saw Brockers approaching him and he took a forward dive just to prevent a safety. This would pave the way for great field position for the Rams in what led to the game-losing field goal.