Four key members of the San Francisco 49ers’ passing attack — as well as defensive tackle DeForest Buckner — earned the team’s top five grades from Pro Football Focus after the Niners’ shootout 41-39 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night.
Although Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman earned Pro Football Focus’game ball — partially due to his interception and fumble recovery — three 49ers ended the matchup with higher overall grades than Pro Football Focus’ highest rated player on the Rams.
Buckner led all players with an 88.9 overall grade, after earning a 92.2 overall grade in last week’s game against the Seattle Seahawks. The Pro Football Focus analysis team noted that Buckner has its second highest overall grade among interior defenders, and is the the only interior defender who currently ranks in the top five against both the pass and the run:
Buckner has been the unquestioned best defender on the 49ers through three games, positioning himself among elite company at his position. With a 90.4 overall grade on the season, the Oregon-product joins Ndamukong Suh (90.5) and J.J. Watt (90.2) as the only interior defenders with 90.0-plus grades this season.
Those who left wide receiver Pierre Garçon out of their fantasy football lineups due to his perceived difficult matchup against Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson were likely surprised by Garçon’s dominance over the Rams’ top corner. Garçon’s seven catches for 142 yards — 133 of which came against Johnson — helped earn him an 88.1 overall grade from Pro Football Focus, and further trust from quarterback Brian Hoyer:
Hoyer — thanks to help from Garçon — earned Pro Football Focus’ third highest overall grade of the game, as he broke himself out of a two-game funk. Hoyer’s 332 passing yards doubled his season’s output, and his two touchdown passes were his first of the year. The 49ers’ signal caller also added a touchdown score on the ground, for a Pro Football Focus overall grade of 87.7. Hoyer was accurate, but not only in the short game; Hoyer completed two passes over 50 yards, and was accurate on the majority of his intermediate passes as well:
Fellow integral members of the Niners’ passing attack — left tackle Joe Staley and wide receiver Marquise Goodwin — rounded out Pro Football Focus’ top five 49ers of the game:
5 highest-graded 49ers vs. Rams
- DT DeForest Buckner – 88.9
- WR Pierre Garçon – 88.1
- QB Brian Hoyer – 87.7
- T Joe Staley – 85.5
- WR Marquise Goodwin – 80.6