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Three quick takeaways from 49ers’ 30-23 win over Rams

Rohan Chakravarthi
Sep 17, 2023 at 5:22 PM--

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The San Francisco 49ers are starting off 2-0 after a 30-23 win over the Los Angeles Rams on the road, where they pulled away in the second half to secure a victory.

The two sides were engaged in a feisty battle throughout the first half, entering halftime with a 17-17 tie, but the 49ers delivered a strong second half performance to pull away for a comfortable win.

Here are three quick takeaways from San Francisco's 30-23 win over the Los Angeles Rams.

Kyle Shanahan cooking

For the second consecutive game, I've been impressed with Kyle Shanahan's playcalling to begin the game.

The 49ers dominated with a long first drive, followed by three scores in four opportunities through the first half, leading to 17 points at halftime.

The lone punt for the 49ers came in Rams territory on a drive where quarterback Brock Purdy airmailed a deep ball intended for Brandon Aiyuk, who was wide open off a double move, and likely could've gotten close to a touchdown, if not a score.

Additionally, I've been pleased with Shanahan's aggressive manner early in the season, which continued in Week 2, as the head coach was ready to go for a 4th & 2 deep in the redzone prior to an overturned call, while also pushing for a touchdown over a field goal to end the first half, which was successful.

If Shanahan continues to trust his offense and his playcalling, the possibilities are endless for the 49ers offense.

The 49ers scored 30 points on Sunday, and easily had the opportunity for more points, but Brock Purdy missed two deep incompletions that could've resulted in touchdowns to open receivers.

Kudos to Kyle Shanahan for making that happen.


Coming into the game, Shanahan and the 49ers preached the familiarity with the Rams, having won eight consecutive regular game matchups over Sean McVay.

That's why I was surprised with the amount of off-coverage the 49ers played, specifically early, which allowed Matthew Stafford to efficiently execute and move the ball for 17 first-half points.

It was obvious that the gameplan was to get the ball out quick, and credit goes to Stafford for his ball placement and decision-making early, but the 49ers seemed compliant to allow those shorter gains and let the Rams continue pushing downfield.

That changed a little in the second half as the pass rush started to get there, but more importantly as the turnovers started to come, but the 49ers should play to the strength of their team and trust their front guys, meaning more man-coverage specifically in this matchup.

Distribution of passes

After Brandon Aiyuk earned eight of quarterback Brock Purdy's 17 Week 1 completions for 129 yards, the 49ers spread the ball out a lot against the Rams.

Deebo Samuel earned a team-high six catches on nine targets, going for 63 receiving yards, while seeing a number of screens and quick-hitters to the flat coming his way.

Outside of that, the 49ers spread the ball, with Jauan Jennings earning two catches for 51 yards, Brandon Aiyuk seeing three catches for 43 yards, George Kittle hauling in three catches for 30 yards, and Christian McCaffrey earning three catches for 19 yards.

Aiyuk and Samuel got a majority of the targets, but the 49ers have a significant number of capable weapons, which allows for more creativity from Kyle Shanahan to scheme open receivers.

On a side note, it has been intriguing to see less overall volume for George Kittle this season thus far, although I do expect the 49ers to take advantage of his matchup during certain games this season.

Regardless, the offense is flowing, and it's due to a collective effort from the skill position players.
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