Rams' Lenoir "sad" Nacua set NFL rookie receiving records vs 49ers.

On Sunday at Levi's Stadium, Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Puka Nacua set NFL rookie records for receiving yards and catches against the 49ers, disappointing Deommodore Lenoir.

After the 49ers' 21-20 loss, Lenoir said he and the defense knew Nacua was shooting for records given that the Rams wideout needed only 29 yards and four receptions.

Yes, I was sad. In the first half, I thought, ‘He's not going to break the record on me.’ Just how I feel "Lenoir told reporters. We knew he needed 28-29 yards to set the record. We were focused and didn't want him to break it. He would have to play all four quarters if he broke it.

Since both teams had already qualified for the NFL playoffs, Nacua's record chase was a major subject before the NFC West meeting. In order to break the record, backup QB Carson Wentz targeted Nacua three times on Los Angeles' opening drive as Stafford slept.

Despite efforts to stop Nacua from breaking NFL history, the rookie WR equaled the mark with a 19-yard TD reception in the first quarter. In a postgame interview, coach Kyle Shanahan said the 49ers didn't want to make it easy for Nacua to set the record, even though he was close after the first quarter.

We wanted to keep him going all game "Shanahan told reporters afterward. But we knew it would be hard. We knew he needed one more catch and yard, but we tried hard.” Lenoir and the 49ers' defense were furious when Nacua established the new standards after a few more receptions.

Bill Groman of the Houston Oilers established the NFL rookie record for receiving yards in 1960, while Miami Dolphins receiver Jaylen Waddle set the record most rookie catches in 2021 with 104. Nacua currently owns both.

Backups Sam Darnold and Elijah Mitchell played well, but Jake Moody missed a field goal and an extra point, and the 49ers lost by one point against the Rams. The 49ers will face the lowest seed in the divisional round on Saturday, January 20 or Sunday, January 21 after a first-round bye.