Photo Credits: Harry How-Getty
Last Second Field Goal Gives SF the Win
The San Francisco 49ers can hang their hats on one thing this year. They are 2-0 against division foe and leader, the Los Angeles Rams. After beating the Rams in Week 6 at home, the 49ers jumped out to an early lead in Week 12 on the road. The Rams clawed their way back to tie the score at 20 in the fourth quarter. With time running out, Nick Mullens was able to move the ball down field to give the offense a chance at a field goal. As time expired, Robbie Gould drilled a 42-yard field goal, giving the 49ers their first win after dropping three straight.
Injuries and Covid-19 have shaken a lot of teams this year, but arguably none more than the 49ers. The constant shuffling of the roster on a weekly basis should get head coach Kyle Shanahan some looks for Coach of the Year. Week 12 wasn’t any different with the 49ers having 6 players on the Reserve/Covid list. This included offensive starters Trent Williams and Brandon Aiyuk.
The Return of Star Power
They did however welcome back some key pieces on both sides of the ball. Deebo Samuel, Raheem Mostert, and Richard Sherman were activated from the Injury Report this week and they all contributed. Samuel had his best game of the year posting 11 catches for 133 yards. Nick Mullens looked his way often, especially in the second half when the Rams were fighting to even the score. Deebo looked healthy and explosive throughout the game which is encouraging considering his hamstring issues this year.
Raheem Mostert has spent two stints on the injury report this year including a stretch on the IR. He gave stability to the offense, carrying the ball 16 times for 43 yards and a touchdown. The Rams’ defensive line includes All-Pro and 2-time Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald, so having Mostert back allowed the offense to have balance. Fellow backfield member Jeff Wilson Jr also returned from the IR and put up 42 yards rushing including some physical runs late.
Defensively, not only did Sherman return, the 49ers also activated rookie Javon Kinlaw from the Reserve/Covid-19 list for this game. Kinlaw made his presence known with his first career interception and touchdown after he picked off a pass from Jared Goff and returned it for 6. This is just one game after he recorded his first career sack as well.
New Covid-19 Restrictions Add a Wrinkle
The newest wrinkle that Shanahan and the 49ers have to deal with is the Covid restrictions that Santa Clara county just put into place on Saturday. These restrictions state that all contact sports must stop and anyone traveling from over 150 miles away needs to quarantine for 14 days upon arriving. Levi’s Stadium, where the 49ers play, is located in Santa Clara county which means the 49ers will have to get creative with the remaining home games on their schedule. The latest information reports that the Arizona Cardinals have been in contact with San Francisco about using their stadium for the remainder of the season. California has been one of the more strict states when it comes to the lockdown orders and restrictions that have been put in place.
The new restrictions are just another task the the 49ers front office and coaching staff have to battle. So far this season, this team has done extremely well considering the amount of chaos that has taken place. Week 12 went exactly the way San Fran needed. Obviously getting the win was huge, but there were a number of teams that lost this week that helps the 49ers chance of making the playoffs. Currently, San Francisco sits at the 10 seed, just one game out of the 7th and final seed for the playoffs. It may seem slightly far fetched, but it’s not completely out of the question. With this team getting healthy again, there could be some drama in the NFC West down the stretch!
Stats & Notes from Week 12
- The offense saw the return of Samuel, Mostert, and Wilson Jr
- Deebo racked up 11 catches for 133 yards
- Kinlaw records first interception and touchdown of career
- Richard Sherman returns from IR
- SF still in playoff hunt after the win
- New Covid restrictions may force SF to play “home” games in Arizona