Five Takeaways: Pass-catchers' and pass-rush's performances a bright spot for Rams in loss to 49ers

Both sides of the ball gave the Rams a chance in Saturday's barrow 34-31 loss to the 49ers, including performances by tight end Tyler Higbee, wide receivers Robert Woods, Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp and the pass rush.

Here are five instant takeaways from the contest:

1) Higbee joins rare, elite company

Higbee's late-season emergence is showing exactly why the Rams gave him a four-year extension in early September. 

With his 104 yards on a team-high nine catches, the former Western Kentucky star posted his fourth consecutive game of 100 or receiving yards. 

How rare is the feat Higbee accomplished? He's only the fourth tight end to do so, according to NFL research, joining Travis Kelce, Jimmy Graham (twice), and Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez.

Not bad company to be in.

2) Woods' consistency achieves new milestones

For the third time in four games, Woods surpassed 100 yards from scrimmage after finishing with eight catches for 117 yards against the 49ers. The performance not only marked how consistent he's been over the last month a pair of franchise milestones. 

Those 117 receiving yards gave Woods 1,067 on the season, making him the first Rams wide receiver to record back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons since 2007 when Torry Holt accomplished the feat. Woods is also just the sixth Rams wide receiver in franchise history with back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons.

3) Pass rush has strong second half

The Rams' defense generated consistence pressure on 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo after halftime.

All six of L.A.'s sacks Saturday night came in the second half, matching its season high and marking the fifth time it has had five or more sacks in a game. 

4) Kupp and Cooks have timely touchdowns

Both Kupp and Cooks found the end zone Saturday, contributing to key scoring drives. 

Cooks' 10-yard touchdown catch with 11:15 left in the first quarter gave the Rams their first points of the game and helped their offense get off to a fast start. 

Kupp's 22-yard touchdown catch would later help the Rams regain the lead 28-24 with 5:12 left in the third quarter.

For Cooks, it was his second touchdown of the season and first season Week 2. For Kupp, it was his ninth.

5) Playing for pride

The Rams may he eliminated from playoff contention, but they aren't using it as an excuse to not perform up to the expected standard in Week 17. 

Next week's season finale against the Cardinals is also the Rams' final game in the Coliseum before moving homes to SoFi Stadium in 2020. Players and coaches this season have prided themselves on responding the right way, and they'll have one more chance to do it next Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.

The Los Angeles Rams take on the San Francisco 49ers for Week 16 at Levi's Stadium.

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