The Los Angeles Rams lost their early momentum and were overcome by the offensive efforts of the San Francisco 49ers 7-20
“It’s a lot of games left, it’s just got to turn it around,” Rams wide receiver Robert Woods said. “What point are we gonna finally click and turn it, but I feel like we’re right there, we just got to stay connected, stay persistent.”
Quarterback Jared Goff had only 13 passes for 78 yards, wide receiver Cooper Kupp made four catches for 78 yards and running back Malcolm Brown made 11 carries for 40 yards. San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo made 24 slings for 243 yards, tight end George Kittle made eight receptions for 103 yards and running back Tevin Coleman made 18 runs for 45 yards.
The 49er defense worked to stymy the rushing game of the Rams, holding them to 10 first downs. Goff was sacked four times for 22 yards. Super Bowl champion corner Richard Sherman credited lineman Deforest Buckner and safety Jaquiski Tartt among other defenders for their efforts.
“You don’t hold an offense like that to under 100 yards passing and barely 100 yards total without playing outstanding football in the back end,” Sherman said. “We came here without both of our starting tackles … without our starting corner, we lost our nickel in the middle of the game.”
Penalties also doomed the Rams, eight penalties pushed them back 59 yards. Having players like running back Todd Gurley and corner Aqib Talib didn’t help Los Angeles either.
Brown moved the ball on the ground with Robert Woods putting the Rams on the board with a rushing touchdown.
“They decided to run it nine straight times, it definitely hits you on a personal level especially when we play a really good run defense and we know they’re a really good run team and that’s what they thrive on,” said defensive lineman DeForest Buckner.
San Francisco returned the favor, Garoppolo targeted Matt Breida and Dante Pettis to advance for big gains and Coleman scored from a two-yard run.
The 49ers kept the ball flying on their next possession and reached the Ram’s red zone. Garoppolo sent the ball toward the endzone for wide receiver Deebo Samuel, but corner Marcus Peters intercepted the ball.
An asset to the Rams offense was rookie running back Darrell Henderson, who nimbly avoided tackles to make a 22-yard rush and ran 14 yards on the next play. Yet, the Rams could not overpower the San Francisco defense when they were inches away from the endzone.
To start the third quarter, Henderson fumbled the ball and the 49ers recovered and their offense started on the Rams’ 17-yard line. Coleman received a 14-yard pass from Garoppolo gave them a first and goal. Garoppolo willed the ball into the endzone and San Francisco was up by seven.
San Francisco defenders adjusted quickly to Henderson’s plays, thwarting his runs. Penalties and incomplete passes also plagued the Rams. Arial plays kept the 49ers on the move, Garoppolo targeted wideout Dante Pettis for 21 yards and they were six feet away from scoring, but the 49ers had to settle for a field goal.
Los Angeles protected their end zone again on the 49ers next drive, but San Francisco scored a second consecutive field goal.
“The guys continued to battle,” said Rams head coach Sean McVay. “But really it’s about let’s stay together, let’s not let this little bit of adversity that we’re going through divide us.”