Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Garoppolo’s “fun night”: Fast start, complementary football led to 49ers’ rout of Rams

Nov 15, 2021 at 10:37 PM--

No one was really expecting this. Yes, the San Francisco 49ers entered the game having won four straight against the Los Angeles Rams, but they were 3-5 this season and had lost five of their last six games.

The Rams had just added Odell Beckham Jr. and Von Miller. It didn't look like the 49ers had a chance against Sean McVay's Super Bowl-hopeful squad that upgraded its starting quarterback this offseason, swapping Jared Goff (plus some draft capital) for Matthew Stafford.

As most expected, the game was a good old-fashioned beatdown. Except, Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers delivered the blows to the tune of a 31-10 victory. It was the Niners' first home victory in 393 days.

After the game, ESPN's Lisa Salters spoke with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, asking what finally clicked at home for the 49ers.

"I think we got off to a fast start," Garoppolo responded. "I think that played a huge role."

San Francisco jumped to an early 14-0 lead thanks to Jimmie Ward's big night. The 49ers safety ended the Rams' first drive by intercepting Stafford. Garoppolo and San Francisco's offense then delivered an 18-play, 93-yard drive for the game's first score. Ward further frustrated Stafford on the next drive with a pick-six, giving the Niners a quick two-score lead.

The 49ers never trailed in the game. The interceptions were Ward's first since 2016 and just his third and fourth of his career.

"Jimmie Ward played a hell of a game," Garoppolo continued. "He really did, just from start to finish. When we can play that complementary football and get the fans going like this, it makes for a fun night."

San Francisco ran the football 44 times for 156 yards. The Rams probably saw that coming and still couldn't stop it.

"Those guys up front really set the tone early on," Garoppolo said. "Those receivers did a great job. When your receivers can play like that, play physical like Deebo [Samuel] played, [Brandon Aiyuk] played, it sends a message to the rest of the team."

The 49ers hope to take tonight's energy and carry it over into the weekend when they will play the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field.

Garoppolo added, "We've got a quick week this week, going down to Jacksonville, so we've just got to be ready to turn it around and just get back right to it. There's no real secret to it. Just got to go play better."

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