How Deebo's YAC set tone for 49ers in big win over Rams


SANTA CLARA -- Wide receiver Deebo Samuel might have had the most important yards after catch of his career Sunday night.

Late in the 49ers' 24-16 win over the Los Angeles Rams at Levi's Stadium, the 49ers needed one last first down to seal the victory. Samuel delivered, showing why he is one of the leaders of the team's "YAC Bros."

With two minutes left on the clock, the 49ers faced third-and-7 from their own 38-yard line. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo flipped a short pass to an in-motion Samuel five yards behind the line of scrimmage. The wide receiver then fought through several defenders to reach the 49ers' 49-yard line, leaving no doubt he moved the sticks and the 49ers had won.

In all, Samuel picked up 16 yards after the catch on his sixth (and final) reception of the night. He also earned a lot of respect from his happy head coach.

“That last run that Deebo had was as impressive of a run as I’ve ever seen,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said in his virtual press conference after the win. “I thought we blocked it for about seven yards, and then three guys just tried to bring it on Deebo, and he just stayed up and finished the play and got three more and allowed us to go out there and take a knee.”

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The 49ers set the tone running the same play on their first drive of the night. On the 49ers' second offensive play, Samuel gained 35 yards from scrimmage -- and 40 after the catch -- running around the left side. Four plays later, Samuel scored on a similar play from the right side.

“It was huge for us tonight,” Shanahan said. “Starting out the game, I think it was the second play of the game. I think he (also) scored down there on the same drive. Same run play we’ve been doing for a while.”

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Samuel finished the night with six receptions for 66 yards and the TD, catching all six of his targets behind the line of scrimmage. The 24-year-old picked up an impressive 98 yards after the catch Sunday, according to the NFL's gamebook.

Garoppolo reminded Samuel not to run out of bounds when the 49ers called his number one last time, but the receiver knew his responsibility. You would think he's impervious to pain because of the aggressive nature of his runs, but Samuel admitted Sunday it wasn't easy.

“I ain’t going to lie, it hurt,” Samuel said. “But you know, I do what it takes for this team. It was just great to seal the win knowing they didn’t have any timeouts. I was like ‘Jimmy, I got you,’ and I just went out there and executed.”