The San Francisco 49ers may have been shorthanded, offensively, for their key Week 6 road matchup against their NFC West rivals, the Los Angeles Rams.

And while the Niners offense took some time to move the ball at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the defense certainly made a statement, holding the Rams to just seven points in what turned into a 20-7 victory for San Francisco.

The Niners have improved to a perfect 5-0 record this season, and many should look at the team's defense as a No. 1 reason why. If the 49ers' lopsided 31-3 win over the Cleveland Browns on Monday Night Football in Week 5 wasn't convincing enough, holding the Rams to a mere 157 total yards certainly should.

"It's business as usual," cornerback Richard Sherman told reporters, when asked if the 49ers defensive dominance was a statement. "The previous performance [against the Browns] should have been enough to get these guys the respect they deserve. Dee Ford played outstanding today. DeForest [Buckner], Arik Armstead, again, made a huge impact in the run game and pass game. DeFo, always. Jaquiski Tartt. Jaquiski Tartt (emphasized), I feel like he's not getting enough love, because they just don't know how to say his name.

"So I'm just helping everybody out. Jaquiski Tartt. He's playing at a high level right now. Jimmie Ward. Those are people you probably should keep track of."

Tartt, who recorded two tackles and a key one for a loss, was part of a Niners secondary which limited quarterback Jared Goff to a mere 78 yards passing -- a career low for the former No. 1 overall NFL Draft pick. Ward had five tackles and two pass breakups.

The numbers got better for San Francisco's defense, too. In all, the Rams were 0-of-9 on third-down attempts, and all four of their fourth-down tries failed, too.

All this, from a Rams offense which ranked No. 6 in scoring and No. 5 in yards gained entering Week 6.

"Hopefully they give us that kind of respect," Sherman continued. "Hopefully we earn that kind of respect. That's what we aspire to do. You aspire every year to be compared to one of the greatest defenses of all time."

San Francisco entered this contest with the No. 4 ranked scoring defense and second-ranked defense, in terms of yards allowed. Those numbers will surely look better after having shut down the Rams on their own turf on Sunday.
  • Peter Panacy
  • Written by:
    Peter Panacy has been writing about the 49ers since 2011 for outlets like Bleacher Report, Niner Noise, 49ers Webzone, and is occasionally heard as a guest on San Francisco's 95.7 FM The Game and the Niners' flagship station, KNBR 680. Feel free to follow him, or direct any inquiries to his Twitter account.