Defensively dominant 49ers dump reigning NFL champion Rams

Jimmy Garoppolo completed 16 of 27 passes for 239 yards and a touchdown for the winners.

49ers QB: Jimmy Garoppolo.
49ers QB: Jimmy Garoppolo.
Image: Alamy Stock Photo

JIMMY GAROPPOLO COMPLETED 16 of 27 passes for 239 yards and a touchdown to power the San Francisco 49ers over the reigning NFL champion Los Angeles Rams 24-9 on Monday.

The Rams, trying to become the first repeat champions since New England won the 2004 and 2005 Super Bowls, fell to 2-2, the same record as the 49ers and NFC West division rivals Arizona and Seattle.

“It was a hell of an atmosphere out here and that always gets us going,” Garoppolo said. “These games against the Rams are always a dogfight. It was no different tonight.”

Los Angeles quarterback Matthew Stafford was sacked seven times and could not solve an attacking San Francisco defensive unit that kept the Rams out of the end zone.

San Francisco’s Talanoa Hufanga intercepted a short Stafford pass and returned the ball 52 yards for a touchdown as the 49ers took a 24-9 lead with 6:27 to play.

Garoppolo couldn’t decide what the 49ers’ defenders did best.

“Everything,” he said. “Big plays, stepping up on third down — they did really good. That D-line was getting after it.”

Garoppolo threw a 57-yard touchdown pass to Deebo Samuel to give the 49ers a 14-6 halftime advantage.

Matt Gay’s 26-yard field goal late in the third quarter lifted the Rams within 14-9 but it marked the third time San Francisco’s defenders had denied Los Angeles a touchdown off a golden opportunity off a combined 20 minutes of drives.

The 49ers answered on Robbie Gould’s 25-yard field goal seven seconds into the fourth quarter for a 17-9 advantage.

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Gay’s 39-yard field goal gave the Rams a 3-0 edge but the 49ers took the lead on Jeff Wilson’s 32-yard touchdown run just 4:02 later and kept it even after Gay’s 29-yard field goal in the second quarter.

A spectator ran onto the field in the second quarter with a device emitting pink smoke and was flattened by a hit from Rams linebacker Bobby Walker near the LA sideline.

– © AFP 2022

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