The Rams’ opening drive mirrored the 49ers’ opening drive from Monday Night Football in 2021. Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp helped methodically move the Rams into the red zone.
The 14 play drive was the longest opening drive for the Rams since a 14-play FG drive vs the Cardinals 10/22/17— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) October 4, 2022
Samson Ebukam notched a revenge sack on his old team on second and nine, effectively ending the drive.
Stafford was perfect on the drive giving the Rams a 3-0 lead.
Rams convert a 39-yard field goal on their opening drive to take a 3-0 lead.— Tyler Dragon (@TheTylerDragon) October 4, 2022
Matthew Stafford has started the game 7/7.
The 49ers responded with a TD drive aided by two Jauan Jennings third-down conversions. Jeff Wilson, Jr. capped off the drive with an explosive 32-yard touchdown run.
#49ers RB Jeff Wilson Jr. hit a max speed of 20.82 MPH on his touchdown run, the highest max speed by a 49er this season, per Next Gen Stats.— Nick Wagoner (@nwagoner) October 4, 2022
The two teams traded punts on consecutive possessions. The Rams once again drove into the red zone but would settle for another field goal following three straight incompletions from Stafford.
The 49ers would answer with a touchdown drive punctuated by an electric catch and run from Deebo Samuel. However, Jalen Ramsey clearly made a business decision on his attempted tackle of Samuel. Relive the exciting play here:
Deebo freaking Samuel. Just absolute insanity. pic.twitter.com/b0wVuUmRvL— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) October 4, 2022
That would end the scoring for both teams in the first half. Bobby Wagner provided some in-game entertainment with his takedown of a fan on the field:
OMG BOBBY WAGNER JUST TRUCKED THE FAN THAT RAN ON THE FIELD pic.twitter.com/uwoEzkrFxc— Cameron Salerno (@cameronsalerno1) October 4, 2022
The Rams would have one possession in the third quarter, which took up eight minutes. Once again, the 49ers’ defense held up after three straight incompletions. Matt Gay would convert his third field goal of the night.
The 49ers responded with their own field goal drive. An overturned touchdown call on a Jimmy Garoppolo to George Kittle pass put the 49ers in a fourth-and-one situation. This became one of the most discussed decisions of the night.
Why is Kyle Shanahan so conservative on 4th down? GO FOR THE KILL SHOT AND PLAY TO WIN. This is why he blows so many leads— Chase Senior (@Chase_Senior) October 4, 2022
One gripe with Kyle Shanahan has been his weirdly conservative decision-making with 4th down calls.— Akash Anavarathan (@akashanav) October 4, 2022
This one should've been an easy go-for-it decision, especially given the game situation and where the ball was..
For being the poster boys of young, offensive-minded boy geniuses in the NFL, Sean McVay and Kyle Shanahan are both comically conservative. I always forget that until I watch their games— Jeremy Layton (@JeremyLayt0n) October 4, 2022
Shanahan elected for the field goal with his defense playing well. Conservative play-calling on fourth down has been a loud talking point for years. Nonetheless, the 49ers extended their lead.
After another Rams punt, the 49ers once again moved into the red zone. Unfortunately, Robbie Gould missed a 43-yard attempt, and the chatter around the fourth down decision only grew.
That missed kick by Robbie Gould is significant. It's still a one-score game, and the #49ers defense could easily handle a two-possession lead.— Peter Panacy (@PeterPanacy) October 4, 2022
Forcing a quick #LARams drive here now becomes vital. #LARvsSF
Robbie Gould might take the blame if we lose.— ProSamurai (@Just_ProSamurai) October 4, 2022
You can't miss that field goal after all the offense and defense did. #49ers
A massive, massive miss from Robbie Gould, which keeps it a one-possession game for the Rams.— Rob Lowder (@Rob_Lowder) October 4, 2022
The curtain closed on the Rams’ comeback attempt as Talanoa Hufanga returned a Stafford interception for a touchdown. Eerily similar to Jimmie Ward’s pick-six last season on MNF. The celebration was on.
This is a great win for the 49ers against a division rival. The schedule opens up with Carolina and Atlanta, followed by a fascinating matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs. At 2-2, the 49ers sit in first place in the NFC West. Things are looking up in 49ers land.