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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

49ers defense puts on a show in 24-9 Monday night win over Rams

Oct 3, 2022 at 8:06 PM

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1st 2nd 3rd 4th Tot
LA 3 3 3 0 9
SF 7 7 0 10 24

The San Francisco 49ers are still trying to find their way on offense four games into the 2022 season, but the defense reminded the NFL on Monday night that they're good enough by themselves to make the team a force to be reckoned with.

The 49ers held the Rams out of the end zone on Monday night and totaled seven sacks and two turnovers in a 24-9 victory in front of a raucous home crowd at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara. 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo finished with 239 yards and one touchdown on 16-of-27 passing, while Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford completed 32 of 48 passes for 254 yards and one interception.

First Half

The 49ers opened the game on defense and bent but didn't break by giving up a long, efficient drive to the Rams that ended in a field goal and a 3-0 lead. The Rams held the ball for over eight minutes and moved 54 yards in 14 plays, but a key sack by defensive end Samson Ebukam on a 2nd-and-9 play from the 49ers' 18-yard line helped halt the drive and limit the Rams to a 39-yard field goal from kicker Matt Gay.

One good drive from the Rams was followed by a better one from the 49ers, who put together an eight-play, 75-yard drive that ended in a 32-yard touchdown run by Jeff Wilson to take a 7-3 lead. Most of the yardage on the drive came through the air, with Garoppolo going 4-for-5 with 44 yards on the possession, before Wilson shot through a hole and cruised to the end zone for his first touchdown of the season.

The offenses cooled down for a bit after that, with two consecutive punts from each team, then the Rams put together another scoring drive midway through the second quarter to cut the lead to 7-6 on a 29-yard field goal. The drive was another lengthy one for the Rams (10 plays, 54 yards), but the 49ers stiffened on defense inside the 10 to hold the Rams to a field goal with 6:22 remaining in the half.

As was the case after the first Rams field goal, the 49ers answered with a touchdown, only this time it was one for the season highlight reel. The 49ers faced a 3rd-and-3 with just under three minutes in the half when Garoppolo completed a short pass for first down yardage to a leaping Deebo Samuel, but Samuel was far from done on the play. Samuel made a defender miss after making the catch, then took off across the field and shook a tackle attempt from Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey before reaching the end zone for a 57-yard touchdown and a 14-6 lead.

The Rams took over with time to add another score before the half, but the 49ers' defense put an end to their efforts after six plays following consecutive sacks from defensive lineman Charles Omenihu and cornerback Deommodore Lenoir. The 49ers took over with 31 seconds to play but failed to convert a first down and wound up taking their 14-6 lead to the half.

Second Half

The 49ers opened the second half on offense with a five-play possession that ended in a punt, then they bent once again on defense but didn't break when the Rams put together a 16-play, 75-yard drive that took nearly eight minutes off the clock but ended inside the 10-yard line. Gay added his third field goal of the night, this one from 26 yards, to cut the 49ers' lead to 14-9.

The 49ers got downfield in a hurry following the field goal due in large part to a 35-yard completion to fullback Kyle Juszczyk on the first play of their drive that moved the ball to the Rams' 38-yard line. Three runs from Wilson and one from Juszczyk set up a 1st-and-Goal at the 8-yard line, then a first down completion to Samuel moved the 49ers to the 1-yard line. But the Rams tackled Wilson for no gain on second down, then a catch in the end zone by tight end George Kittle was ruled incomplete after Kittle stepped out of bounds, which left the 49ers with a 4th-and-Goal at the 1. 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan elected not to attempt a fourth down conversion and settled instead for a field goal from Robbie Gould to extend the lead to 17-9 at the 14:53 mark in the fourth quarter.

The field goal was followed by a three-and-out for the Rams, then return specialist Ray-Ray McCloud gave the 49ers possession at their own 45-yard line after a 22-yard return. The drive was in danger of ending early when the 49ers faced a 3rd-and-13 from the 42, but a catch and run from Samuel for 29 yards put the 49ers at the Rams' 29-yard line. The 49ers failed to add another first down from there, setting up another field goal attempt from Gould, but the kick sailed wide left from 42 yards to keep the score at 17-9 with 8:42 remaining in the game.

But as had been the case for the entire evening, the defense would step up for the 49ers, this time delivering an impact play that put the game out of reach. The play came from safety Talanoa Hufanga, who added another moment to remember to what is becoming a breakout season when he stepped in front of a Stafford pass intended for wide receiver Cooper Kupp and took it 52 yards for a touchdown and a 24-9 lead.

The Rams moved to the 49ers' 24-yard line in 13 plays on the following possession, but the defense stepped up once again with their second consecutive takeaway. This time it started with Ebukam, who knocked the ball free on a strip sack of Stafford, then defensive end Kerry Hyder finished the job by recovering the fumble at the 16-yard line.

The 49ers took a three-and-out on the next possession while eating the Rams' timeouts, then the Rams took over with 45 seconds to play but brought the game to an end after three plays. The Rams finished with a sizeable edge in time of possession (34:34 to 25:26), first downs (21-13) and total plays (73-49), but the 49ers allowed just 257 yards while holding the Rams to 57 yards on the ground.

Notes: The win put both the 49ers and Rams at 2-2 for the season and set up a four-way tie for first place in the NFC West... The 49ers entered the night with a six-game regular season winning streak against the Rams and a three-game streak of holding opponents under 20 points... The 49ers carried a 75-68-3 series lead heading into the game... Jimmy Garoppolo moved to 7-1 all-time against the Rams with the win... The 49ers have held opposing offenses out of the end zone during the first half of each of their four games this season... Next up for the 49ers is a road matchup against the Carolina Panthers (1-3), set to kick off at 4:05 p.m. ET/1:05 p.m. PT (CBS) on Sunday, October 9. The Rams return to Los Angeles next week for a Sunday afternoon game against the Dallas Cowboys (3-1) (4:25 p.m. ET/1:25 p.m. PT, FOX).

LA Team Stats SF
200 Passing Yards 239
57 Rushing Yards 88
257 Total Yards 327
5.29 Avg Yards per Pass 8.85
3.17 Avg Yards per Run 4
1 Fumbles Lost 0
1 Int Thrown 0
7 Sacks Allowed 0
00:34:34 Time of Pos 00:25:26
1 Penalties 4

Rams Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
Matthew Stafford 32/48 254 0 1
Rushing Att Yds Avg TDs
Darrell Henderson 7 27 3.9 0
Cam Akers 8 13 1.6 0
Brandon Powell 1 11 11 0
Matthew Stafford 2 6 3 0
Receiving Rec Tgt Yds TDs
Cooper Kupp 14 19 122 0
Tyler Higbee 10 14 73 0
Ben Skowronek 2 3 33 0
Darrell Henderson 3 4 12 0
Kendall Blanton 1 1 7 0
Allen Robinson 2 6 7 0
Cam Akers 0 1 0 0
Fumbles Fum Lost
Matthew Stafford 1 1
Kicking FG Att Lg XP
Matt Gay 3 3 39 0
Punting No Avg I20 Lg
Riley Dixon 4 57.3 0 60
Kickoff Returns Yds Avg TDs Lg
Brandon Powell 58 19.3 0 22
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
Bobby Wagner 7-3 0 0 0
Aaron Donald 4-1 0 0 0
Nick Scott 4-0 0 0 0
Leonard Floyd 3-2 0 0 0
Ernest Jones 2-3 0 0 0
Grant Haley 2-2 0 0 0
Jalen Ramsey 2-0 0 0 0
Justin Hollins 1-2 0 0 0
Taylor Rapp 1-2 0 0 0
A'Shawn Robinson 1-1 0 0 0
Jordan Fuller 1-1 0 0 0
Riley Dixon 1-0 0 0 0
Robert Rochell 1-0 0 0 0

49ers Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
Jimmy Garoppolo 16/27 239 1 0
Rushing Att Yds Avg TDs
Jeff Wilson 18 74 4.1 1
Kyle Juszczyk 1 9 9 0
Jimmy Garoppolo 1 3 3 0
Deebo Samuel 2 2 1 0
Receiving Rec Tgt Yds TDs
Deebo Samuel 6 7 115 1
Brandon Aiyuk 4 4 37 0
Kyle Juszczyk 1 1 35 0
George Kittle 2 4 24 0
Jauan Jennings 2 4 22 0
Ray-Ray McCloud 1 3 6 0
Ross Dwelley 0 1 0 0
Charlie Woerner 0 1 0 0
Fumbles Fum Lost
Ray-Ray McCloud 1 0
Kicking FG Att Lg XP
Robbie Gould 1 2 25 3
Punting No Avg I20 Lg
Mitch Wishnowsky 4 39.5 1 43
Kickoff Returns Yds Avg TDs Lg
Ray-Ray McCloud 21 21 0 21
Punt Returns Att Avg TDs Lg
Ray-Ray McCloud 2 17 0 22
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
Fred Warner 6-3 0 0 0
Emmanuel Moseley 6-0 0 0 0
Deommodore Lenoir 5-3 1 0 0
Charvarius Ward 4-0 0 0 0
Talanoa Hufanga 3-1 0 1 0
Samson Ebukam 3-1 2 0 1
Nick Bosa 3-0 2 0 0
Tashaun Gipson 2-0 0 0 0
Dre Greenlaw 12-3 0 0 0
Kevin Givens 1-2 0 0 0
Arik Armstead 1-1 0 0 0
Charles Omenihu 1-1 1 0 0
Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles 1-0 0 0 0
Charlie Woerner 1-0 0 0 0
Hassan Ridgeway 1-0 1 0 0

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