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49ers shut down Rams in 20-7 victory


San Francisco 49ers v Los Angeles Rams Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images

The game couldn’t have started any worse for the 49ers, as they gave up a touchdown to the Rams on the opening drive. Los Angeles ran it at will for seven plays and scored 56 yards later.

The 49ers answered with a big-time drive of their own. They marched nine plays for 73 yards. Tevin Coleman punched it in from short to tie it up 7-7.

The question was going to be how the defense responded. Well, they won on first down. That’s what you have to do. Once you force the Rams into obvious passing situations, Jared Goff has shown to make a mistake. Kwon Alexander was credited for a sack, but there were a few players in the vicinity.

The 49ers drove down the field on offense again, but an interception by Jimmy Garoppolo in the end zone stalled the drive. You could probably place the blame on all both Jimmy G and Deebo Samuel on that play. Everything was bad on that play.

The 49ers have a huge stop on 4th & goal. After a couple of big gains by the Rams offense, the defense kept Los Angeles out of the end zone. The offense then drove out of their end zone but was unable to score after Robbie Gould missed a 55-yard field goal. It was 7-7 at the half.

The Rams had a costly fumble to start the second half, and the 49ers took advantage. A screen to Tevin Coleman put the offense inside the five-yard line. A quarterback sneak by Jimmy Garoppolo made it 14-7.

The 49ers had a 12-play, 50-yard drive after a few nice plays by Dante Pettis, but Garoppolo and Tevin Coleman weren’t on the same page on a short throw where Coleman was wide open. Gould connected on a field goal to make it 17-7.

This defense was built to play with the lead. There is so much speed on this unit. Through three quarters, Jared Goff had thrown for 27 yards. Seriously. It did not seem like Sean McVay trusted his quarterback this game, and it showed.

Kyle Shanahan deserves a ton of credit for Sunday’s game-plan. The offense moved the ball up and down the field on the Rams, despite a short week and being down two key starters. The offense couldn’t convert on 3rd & 1, but another Gould field goal put the 49ers up 20-7.

The 49ers stopped the Rams on 4th & 1 from around midfield. That’s the second time in the game they came up with a big stop. What an impressive showing by the defense. With about ten minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Rams were 0-8 on third and fourth down. They also were averaging 3.5 yards per play. They had no answer for the 49ers.

The only thing that couldn’t happen for San Francisco did, as Jimmy Garoppolo fumbled after Aaron Donald sacked him. Jimmy can’t hold onto the ball as long as he did. The Rams took over in 49ers’ territory. A holding call backed Los Angeles up, and that made it 2nd & 11. Two pass breakups by Jimmie Ward stalled another drive by the Rams.

The 49ers have a ton of good players. Their coaches are putting them in a position to succeed. If this doesn’t convince you that they’re legit, nothing will.