BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER
The San Francisco 49ers continued their regular season mastery over the Los Angeles Rams with a 24-9 win at Levi’s Stadium Monday night.
The Niners held the vaunted Rams offense to just three Matt Gay field goals and 257 total yards, pressuring Matthew Stafford 17 times while recording seven sacks. It was San Francisco’s seventh consecutive regular season win over the defending Super Bowl champion Rams.
The win created a four way tie atop the NFC West standings with the 49ers, Rams, Seahawks and Cardinals all holding identical 2-2 records.
Safety Talanoa Hufanga picked off a Matthew Stafford pass midway through the fourth quarter and returned it 52 yards for a touchdown to break the Rams back.
Nick Bosa recorded three tackles and two sacks, giving him an NFL leading six sacks on the young season.
“At halftime we knew that it was going to take a big play like that and there was no better time for [Hufanga] to make that play. We just try and reiterate that over and over and over again because that’s how you win games,” Bosa said.
Hufanga added, “They had been running screens all night and I saw a different release than I’m used to. Instead of going and following my man I just turned my head and the ball kind of dropped in my face. The defense was playing lights out.”
Offensively, Jimmy Garoppolo was a workmanlike 16-27 for 239 yards and a touchdown, but it was Deebo Samuel as usual that sparked the Niners. Samuel had six receptions for 115 yards including an electrifying 57 yard touchdown. Running back Jeff Wilson Jr. added 74 yards on 18 carries including a 32 yard touchdown scamper that gave the 49ers a 7-3 first quarter lead.
Asked if losing to the Rams in last season’s NFC Championship game provided extra motivation, Samuel stated “Of course. We knew we fell short last year and we got to stack wins. One of the things we focused on all week long was getting back to moving the ball, running the ball and converting on third down. We were flying on all cylinders today.”
Stafford finished 32-48 for 254 yards with the one interception for Los Angeles while their running game was ineffective. Cooper Kupp paced the Rams with 14 receptions for 122 yards but couldn’t find the end zone.
With a short week to prepare for their next game, the 49ers will travel to Charlotte for a 1:05 PM start against the Panthers on Sunday before facing the Falcons in Atalanta on October 16th.
The Niners won their 51st game on Monday Night Football, tying the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most in NFL History.
The 49ers defense did not allow a touchdown in the first half for the fourth consecutive game. Their seven sacks were the most since recording seven against the Panthers in 2019.