Jimmy Garoppolo’s worst play Sunday in the 49ers’ 20-7 victory over the Los Angeles Rams was not met with any second-guessing from coach Kyle Shanahan.
Early in the second quarter of a 7-7 game, the 49ers had a third-and-goal situation from the Rams' 1-yard line. Garoppolo tossed a pass into the end zone, which Rams cornerback Marcus Peters intercepted.
The play was designed to go to 49ers tight end George Kittle, who lined up in the slot and was matched against Los Angeles strong safety John Johnson. But Kittle could not shake free from Johnson’s grasp.
On the same side, Garoppolo first looked toward wide receiver Deebo Samuel on a quick hitch. But when Samuel moved forward into the end zone, Rams cornerback Marcus Peters dropped off him and gained position for the leaping interception in front of Kittle.
Shanahan said the 49ers got the defense he was anticipating from the Rams to make that play call a success.
“Kittle couldn’t get away from the guy grabbing him,” Shanahan said. “He threw it up to Kittle, thought Kittle had him beat, but he just couldn’t get away from him grabbing him.
"Then, another guy who was guarding someone else came into it. I wasn’t too upset with Jimmy on that play. That was the call that I made and liked the look. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the call.”
It was the only pass all day that Garoppolo intended for Kittle that he did not catch. Kittle, who sustained a groin injury in practice on Friday, caught eight passes for 103 yards to surpass the entire Rams’ passing output on the day.
Shanahan admitted to some concern about Kittle’s availability. The 49ers listed him as “questionable” on their official injury report.
“Usually when I ask Kittle if he’s hurting, he always tells me, ‘No,’ so when he was in a little bit of pain, (I) definitely had some concern,” Shanahan said. “It was legit. I think you could see that in the game when it started to bother him as the game went.
"But he was able to finish it for the most part, except for I think the last series. Hopefully, he will rest up -- we’ve got two days off -- and he will be good to go.”
Kittle played 65 of the 49ers' 78 offensive plays from scrimmage.