The offense started with an alert and aggressive defense for the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. A major element to the Rams 48-32 win for the San Francisco 49ers was the Rams defense forcing turnovers. The victory marks a division sweep of the NFC West and the number two seed in the NFL playoffs.
“We looked at this as a playoff game,” said Rams head coach Sean McVay. “This was a good team win. Great to be able to get that bye and get ourselves as healthy as possible.”
Both L.A. teams have reached the playoffs with the Chargers playing in the Wild Card round against the Baltimore Ravens. The Rams and the New Orleans Saints achieved a bye week with teams like the Chicago Bears and the Dallas Cowboys to reach the NFC Wild Card round.
The Rams newest addition running back C.J. Anderson brings postseason wisdom having won a Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos in 2016.
“It’s been two years since I’ve been back in the playoffs,” Anderson said. “It’s going to be physical. You’ve got to be detailed can’t turn the ball over, got to sustain drives.”
In their final game before the postseason, Jared Goff completed 15 passes 199 yards, running back C.J. Anderson had 23 carries for 132 yards, and wide receiver Brandin Cooks made five catches for 62 yards. Safety John Johnson made eight tackles and defensive tackle Aaron Donald landed three quarterback hits.
The Los Angeles defense put the 49ers through turmoil as 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens endured three sacks for 18 yards.
For San Francisco, Mullens made 23 slings for 282 yards, running back Alfred Morris had 16 rushes for 111 yards. Tight end George Kittle made nine catches for 149 yards. Linebacker Fred Warner made 14 combined tackles.
The 49ers made three turnovers in the early minutes of the game. Corner Aqib Talib picked up a fumble to create a first and goal situation and linebacker Corey Littleton made an interception.
Littleton earned his second interception in the second quarter, edging the Rams to 21 points with a pick-6. The strong defensive push covered for a lagging offense in the first half. The Rams had 45 net yards in the first quarter and the offense struggled to complete passes.
Anderson helped the Rams gain yards although the defense targeted him frequently. The Ram’s passing game found its stride in the second half, Goff connected with wideout Josh Reynolds for two touchdowns, one being a 29-yard play.
“We were able to move the ball well, especially in the second half,” Goff said. “I think the whole offense settled in.”
Although the Rams had control of the game, tackle Andrew Whitworth and safety Blake Countess were ruled out of the game I the second half due to injury.
San Francisco quarterback found success in sending the ball to tight end George Kittle, who got the 49ers a score off of a 43-yard pass. To conclude their game, the 49ers executed a successful two-point conversion, tacking their score at 32 points.
Kittle made NFL history during the game by having the most receiving yards in a season as a tight end. Kittle accumulated 1,377 reception yards during this season.
“He’s such a hardworking player,” said Rams corner Richard Sherman. “The last play was like a microcosm of who he is as a player and a person.”