Make it three years in a row now that the 49ers have had a bounce-back game on national television at the expense of their division rival to the south. San Francisco's 24-9 win over the Los Angeles Rams is yet another chapter in the book of recent domination in this "rivalry."
Here are my five takeaways from the game.
Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers still own Sean McVay and the Rams
The 49ers have won seven of their last eight meetings with the Rams and have outscored Los Angeles 55-19 in their previous two meetings at Levi's Stadium. Forget the argument about the NFC Championship game canceling the recent stretch of dominance. The entire reason we rely on sample size is to distinguish the anomalies from the pattern.
And the pattern tells us that when these two teams are near evenly matched from a talent standpoint, the 49ers are more than likely going to steamroll them. The last time the Rams won a regular-season meeting against the 49ers was December 30th, 2018. One thousand three hundred seventy-four days have passed since then.
Nick Bosa is the front runner for defensive player of the year
It appears Bosa took last season's All-Pro snub personally, as he has come out of the gates playing as well as anyone in the NFL through the first four games of the season. After recording two sacks against the Rams, Bosa is now the sack leader in the NFL with six and is one of only three players in the league to record at least one sack in each of the first four games this season.
Bosa recorded a whopping FOURTEEN pressures in the win over the Rams, giving Bosa 30 on the season, which leads the entire NFL. The next closest player is Micah Parsons, with 22. Right now, Bosa is playing the best football of his career, and the most encouraging part is he is likely still nowhere near where his ceiling will ultimately be.
Deebo Samuel continues to give the Rams nightmares
Samuel recorded 115 yards on six receptions in Monday night's victory, including a 57-yard touchdown that saw the 49ers' star wideout rack up over 50 yards after the catch while eluding the entirety of the Rams defense while racing towards the end zone.
Samuel's numbers against the Rams are exceptional, particularly since Aaron Donald's famous postgame press conference where he responded, "Who's that?" when asked about game planning for a player with a skillset like Samuel's. Since Donald said that, Samuel's per-game averages when playing the Rams.
102.4 receiving yards
17.06 yards per reception
That's before factoring in what Samuel has done to the Rams on the ground, where he has amassed 4.8 yards per carry and three touchdowns while operating as a weapon in the rushing attack.
Samuel has recorded a touchdown against the Rams in six of the last seven games he has played against Los Angeles, and he still managed to record 11 catches for 133 yards in the only game during that span that he did not record a touchdown.
Jimmy Garoppolo had the rebound game he needed
Last week I wrote about why the Rams would be the perfect opponent for Garoppolo to right the ship against following an abysmal showing in Denver in Week 3. And wouldn't you know it right on queue, Garoppolo delivered exactly the kind of performance that he seemingly does every time he takes the field against the Rams?
Here are Garoppolo's numbers from Monday night's win:
8.85 yards per attempt
100.69 passer rating
Now here are Garoppolo's numbers in his previous four starts against the Rams:
8.75 yards per attempt
110.1 passer rating
Not identical, but certainly a noteworthy comparison across a reasonably large sample size. At this point, there are three guarantees in this world. Death, taxes, and Garoppolo finding his groove in a primetime game against the Los Angeles Rams.
Enjoy DeMeco Ryans while you still can
This one is a bit bittersweet to talk about, as getting to watch Ryans's defense week in and week out is probably my favorite part about covering the San Francisco 49ers. There is no reasonable outcome that does not end with Ryans taking a head coaching job elsewhere following this season. In fact, it would be borderline malpractice for any team with a vacancy not to have Ryans as the number one candidate on their list.
The 49ers' defense stifled the Rams' passing attack on Monday night, holding Los Angeles to a paltry 3.6 yards per attempt. The Rams couldn't get anything going on the ground against this defense either, being held to 3.2 yards per carry on 18 rushing attempts.
That is nothing new for this 49ers defense, as the 2.8 yards per carry they have surrendered this season is the best in the NFL, which is even more remarkable considering that Arik Armstead and Javon Kinlaw have both missed time with injuries.
Through four games, this defense is surrendering just 9.25 points and 234.5 yards per game, both of which lead the NFL. This is a championship-caliber unit, and right now, you are seeing the results of what comes of marrying immense on-the-field talent with a coordinator in Ryans who is pushing all of the right buttons to put those players in a position to succeed.
Enjoy this while you can 49ers fans. As good as the defense will be for years to come, there is absolutely no guarantee that the next person leading it will be able to do what Ryans has done in this role.