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San Francisco 49ers

49ers vs. Rams: San Francisco Week 7 Game Balls & Highlights

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San Francisco 49ers Los Angeles Rams Week 7 game balls TE George Kittle
© Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

We hand out one game ball to the San Francisco 49ers from the Niners’ 39-10 loss to the undefeated Los Angeles Rams in Week 7 of the 2018 NFL regular season.

On Monday’s Locked On 49ers Podcast, host Brian Peacock provided a rundown of the Niners’ game — including game notes and key takeaways — and handed out a single game ball from the San Francisco 49ers’ blowout loss to the Los Angeles Rams in Week 7 of the 2018 NFL regular season.

The 49ers’ Faithful entered Week 7 with hopes of a second consecutive competitive contest after San Francisco outplayed the Green Bay Packers for much of last week’s Monday Night Football matchup, before losing in the game’s final seconds. However, the Niners were never able to grab the lead against the visiting Rams, who recorded the first six scores of the game en route to a 29-point blowout victory over their NFC West rivals.

The turnovers that have haunted the 49ers this season once again played a vital role in the outcome of the game. San Francisco entered Week 7 with a league-worst turnover differential of -11, which had the team on pace to break the NFL record for the worst single-season turnover differential in the post-merger era:

The 49ers’ turnover trend continued on Sunday, as quarterback C.J. Beathard threw two interceptions, and both Beathard and running back Matt Breida each lost a fumble. The Rams promptly turned San Francisco’s four turnovers into 24 points.

In addition to their turnover problems, the Niners had trouble sustaining drives throughout the game, as Beathard and San Francisco’s passing game managed just 121 total yards on Sunday, at an average of only 3.6 yards per play.

In fact, the 49ers’ two scoring drives of 75 yards and 42 yards were their only substantial drives of the day. These two drives were effective because Beathard relied heavily on his favorite passing target — who receives our lone 49ers game ball from Week 7:

49ers TE George Kittle

Tight end George Kittle was responsible for nearly all of the 49ers’ passing production against Los Angeles, since no other player on the Niners’ roster eclipsed 25 receiving yards on the day. Meanwhile, Kittle led all players with five receptions, 98 receiving yards and a touchdown score.

As the 49ers’ only consistent passing target this season, San Francisco’s No. 1 tight end’s 32 receptions lead the team. Not only do Kittle’s 527 receiving yards also lead the 49ers, but they rank third among all tight ends, 17th among all NFL players, and put Kittle on pace for a 1,200-yard season:

After posting unprecedented rookie statistics for a tight end selected at his draft position, Kittle has quickly become one of the best tight ends in the league during his sophomore campaign. Kittle is currently ranked as the NFL’s top tight end, per Pro Football Focus:

Listen to Locked On 49ers host Brian Peacock’s review of the San Francisco 49ers’ Week 7 loss to the Los Angeles Rams — including game notes and key takeaways from the Niners’ six loss of the 2018 season — on Monday’s Rapid React podcast:

Chris Wilson is the Lead Writer for Locked on 49ers - part of the Locked On Podcast Network. You may have seen Chris Wilson’s work on NFL game theory, statistical analysis and film breakdowns at FanSided, Niner Noise, 49ers Webzone, ClutchPoints, Insidethe49 and others. Follow Chris Wilson on Twitter @cgawilson.

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