Being upset by the Atlanta Falcons at home for the San Francisco 49ers came at an inconvenient time in the season. The 49ers are trying to keep ahead of the Seattle Seahawks going into week 17 to setup a matchup for the division.
Luckily, the 49ers handled their business in week 16 in a pressure filled game against the Los Angeles Rams at home. San Francisco defeated the Rams 34-31 in a game that went down to the wire. The 49ers personally escorted the Rams out of the playoffs with the win.
A lot of players helped their stock after a poor showing against the Falcons, but there were some who still managed to hurt it. Here are the three risers and fallers in the latest 49ers stock report.
How great of a trade does the acquisition of Emmanuel Sanders continue to look? The guy has just given the offense a new dynamic and has allowed the younger receivers to come into their own. He doesn’t need to have stellar numbers because his presence alone elevates the offense. Look no further than in this game against the Rams.
Sanders played a major part in the victory with his deep bomb catch on third-and-16 that setup Robbie Gould for the game winning field goal. Without him, the 49ers likely try to go to George Kittle, which is obvious to key in on. With him, the 49ers can make defenses pay for focusing in on Kittle as proved itself once again on the icing catch of Sanders.
The defensive line of the 49ers has been cursed with injuries all season long. Their depth has been tested time and time again. You would think that there wouldn’t be any depth player with sufficient skill after going through so many players. Well the 49ers have a guy who can contribute in Sheldon Day.
He’s not going to cause havoc, but he showed that he can have his moments. Day did a great job squeezing the gaps to shrink the running lanes for Todd Gurley. He isn’t to the level of D.J. Jones and Ronald Blair, but Day is starting to look like a valued piece.
Circling back to the impact of Sanders and his effect on the young receivers, Deebo Samuel has benefited the most. Samuel has emerged as a key skill player on the 49ers offense and he showed that again in this game. Samuel was no where to be found against the Falcons, so he stepped up in a pressure filled game to help the 49ers win.
The confidence levels of Samuel are soaring. Any time he gets the ball in his hands, he’s a threat for a score or a huge gain. That is because of his sound route running and elusiveness with the ball in his hands. If he can continue to trend upward, then he will a major factor when the 49ers make a playoff run.
From playing a pivotal role in the offense to riding the bench. That has been the story of the 2019 season for running back Matt Breida. Ever since Breida missed time due to injury he’s been phased out of the offensive game plan. A grand total of zero snaps is what he put in on Saturday night.
It’s not so much a reflection of him, but of the run by committee offense the 49ers operate. Kyle Shanahan pointed out that the game plan wasn’t to not give him snaps, but that’s how the game panned out. Shanahan will continue to ride the hot hand in Raheem Mostert until he proves he cannot make a lasting impact. Even Tevin Coleman’s role has been limited despite showing he can shoulder some of the workload.
This is a perfect example of why teams do not need a feature running back to be successful. Mostert has done a stellar job since exploding against the Ravens. So long as he proves he can gash defenses, then Breida will be used in a limited fashion.
The Rams on offense found a weak link that they wanted to go after in the 49ers defense. That weak link was cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon who struggled immensely in this matchup. Witherspoon was gashed in coverage against Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks multiple times.
He just was not polished out there and you have to wonder if he’s fully back in game shape, meaning if he’s up to game speed. Witherspoon has not been sufficient by any measure since returning from injury. Before he was out for a couple of months, Witherspoon was putting the clamps on receivers.
He was even graded as a top 10 corner by Pro Football Focus. However, it now looks as if Witherspoon is more of a proponent of the pass rush since it hasn’t been top of line for the last four games. Nevertheless, Witherspoon will need to bounce back in week 17.
One of the main reasons the 49ers loss to the Atlanta Falcons was because of the poor interior pass protection. Even in a win, the interior was once again an issue for the 49ers. Mike Person was the top culprit for the poorest performance against the Falcons, but he was missing in action this game.
Laken Tomlinson was the top culprit in this game. After what had been a great first 10 games of the season for him, Tomlinson has started to teeter. It’s not an ideal time for that to happen with the playoffs right around the corner.
Sure, Tomlinson did have to go up against Aaron Donald. But it wasn’t just Donald who was causing pressure. Tomlinson and the rest of the interior players will need to solidify with the final showdown in Seattle nearing.