The 49ers gave up more points against the Rams than they did against the Browns last Monday night, but the performance by the defense was just as effective as they moved to 5-0 on Sunday.
The Rams opened the game with a 56-yard scoring drive and then went on to pick up just 109 yards the rest of the way. That defensive effort paved the way to a 20-7 win that leaves the 49ers as the only undefeated team in the NFC.
It also leaves the Rams with a three-game losing streak and a big deficit to make up in the NFC West. The 49ers have a three-game edge in the loss column and the rematch between the two teams will be in Santa Clara. The Rams are also looking up at the 5-1 Seahawks, but they’ll need to sort out the issues on both sides of the ball that have contributed to the negative turn of fortune.
Jared Goff was 13-of-24 for 78 yards and did not pass for a first down while being sacked four times during the game. The Rams lost left guard Joe Noteboom to a knee injury in the first half and the remaining linemen struggled across the board against a 49ers defense that had an answer for everything the Rams tried to throw their way over the final 55 minutes of the game.
The last gasp for the Rams came when Aaron Donald stripped Jimmy Garoppolo in the fourth quarter and the return set the Rams up in 49ers territory, but Goff threw incompletions on third and fourth down to keep the 49ers up by 13 points.
That was the way the whole day went for the 49ers defense. They stopped the Rams on all nine of their third down tries, stuffed Malcolm Brown on the goalline in the first half and Darrell Henderson on a second half fourth-and-one run.
Garoppolo threw a bad interception in the first quarter, but was otherwise efficient in going 24-of-33 for 243 yards. He ran one yard for the team’s only touchdown of the afternoon and the lack of offensive fireworks was mitigated by more than 38 minutes of possession and a defense that kept two turnovers from turning into points.
The 49ers will try to move to 6-0 in Washington next weekend while the Rams will work to snap their losing streak in Atlanta.