Thursday Night Football is rarely an entertaining experience, and yet we saw the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams put together what might end up being the best game of the season. Unfortunately, the 49ers came up short, losing by a final score of 41-39. The 49ers drop to 0-3 on the season, while the Rams improve to 2-1.
Things got off to a rough start, with Brian Hoyer throwing an interception on the first play of the game. The Rams followed up with a quick Todd Gurley rushing touchdown. The 49ers looked like they might be in for a rough night, but a Rams offsides penalty on a punt gave the 49ers new life, and they finished a 14-play drive with a touchdown. It was the 49ers first touchdown of the 2017 season.
The 49ers offense scuffled along for much of the first half, but the second half turned into a heavyweight slugfest. The Rams seemed ready to put the 49ers away, only to see the 49ers battle back. And through all of it, a missed extra point was the difference. The 49ers were trailing 34-20 when they found the end zone. Robbie Gould missed the extra point, and they were left to chase the point in the end.
The 49ers got into the end zone in the closing minutes to cut the lead to 41-39, but could not convert the two-point conversion. It did not end there though, as the 49ers recovered an onside kick. Unfortunately, they just could not get anything done on the drive, and turned the ball over on downs. The Rams ran out the clock, and that was that.
Pierre Garçon was the hero of the game for the 49ers making two amazing catches in the second half to keep drives alive. He finished the game with seven receptions for 142 yards. Carlos Hyde was also big on the offensive side of the ball, gaining a hard fought 84 yards and two touchdowns.
Unfortunately, there were just too many issues to overcome. Robbie Gould’s missed extra point was brutal, but the 49ers defense was the unit that really struggled. I don’t know how much was playing a short week, but I have to think that played a big role. The 49ers defense played a brutal game against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, and had to turn around and face the Rams on Thursday.
This is not to take away from the creativity and execution of the Rams offense. Jared Goff looks nothing like the quarterback who struggled so much last year. Sean McVay deserves a ton of credit for his work with Goff, but Goff deserves credit for taking to the coaching. The Rams are executing, and while their two wins are against bad teams, they’re going to be an intriguing team moving forward.
There’s so much more to break down from this game, and we’ll be back with plenty more.
The 49ers have ten days until their next game, and they’re gonna need it. The team saw Jaquiski Tartt and Brock Coyle depart the game with concussions, Kyle Juszczyk with a neck injury, and Tank Carradine to an ankle injury. Tartt, Coyle, and Juszczyk were all quickly ruled out, while Carradine was questionable to return. Carlos Hyde also suffered a hip injury, but eventually returned to the game.
The 49ers players will likely get the weekend off and then return on Monday to begin preparations for a trip to face the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals are off to a rough start, losing to the Lions and then barely beating an awful Colts team. They face the Dallas Cowboys at home this week, and I would not be surprised to see them spring the upset. But with David Johnson sidelined, Carson Palmer is short of his biggest weapon.