SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — A dominant defense and deebo samuel.
The formula that has been so successful for the San Francisco 49ers against the Los Angeles Rams delivered another convincing victory.
Samuel converted a short catch into an electric 57-yard touchdown, Talanoa Hufanga he returned an interception to score and the 49ers beat the Rams 24-9 on Monday night.
“We knew it was going to be an ice pack game,” Hufanga said. “Every time we play these guys it’s a physical matchup. For us as a defense, we want to be the rock. We want to be solid defensively, stand our ground and go out there and swarm.”
Jeff Wilson Jr. also scored on a 32-yard run that gave the Niners (2-2) their seventh straight regular-season victory over their in-state rivals.
The Rams (2-2) won the most significant matchup in last season’s NFC championship game en route to a Super Bowl title, but this matchup was more like their recent regular-season meetings.
San Francisco used a relentless defense to slow down coach Sean McVay’s offense and got enough big plays to earn the win.
Nick Bosa had two of San Francisco’s seven sacks against Matthew Stafford to give him the NFL’s best six on the season and Hufanga froze him with his 52-yard pick-6 in the fourth quarter. He was San Francisco’s fourth 6-pick against the Rams in their last six regular-season games.
“The story of the night from an offensive standpoint was self-inflicted injuries,” McVay said. “Just above the neck bugs where we’re not doing the things that we’re capable of and hopefully we’re better than that.”
Samuel once again delivered the big shots offensively. The key play came late in the second quarter when he converted what appeared to be an interception from Jimmy Garoppolo on a touchdown.
Derion Kendrick jumped the 5-yard route and almost got the interception. But Samuel made the catch and that’s when he really started his work.
Broke tackles from rap taylor Y Jalen Ramsey and weaved through the Rams defense for the final 52 yards to give the Niners a 14-6 lead.
“It was just me and the ball,” Samuel said. “I just go out and break some tackles like I do all the time.”
Samuel has scored seven TDs and thrown another touchdown in eight career games against Los Angeles.
“He does that over and over again,” he addresses. Mike McGlinchey said. “For a reason he is one of our best players. He delivers for us in our biggest moments every time, and especially against that damn team.”
The Rams moved the ball efficiently down the field on the opening drive before a sack Samson Ebukam he stopped the drive and forced Los Angeles to score a field goal.
After that, Los Angeles struggled to move the ball consistently and the Rams couldn’t finish the series when they did. They were subject to field goals in three trips to the red zone.
San Francisco hit back with big plays that led to two long touchdowns. Wilson took advantage of the rope lock on a 32-yard flurry up the middle on the 49ers’ opening drive that made it 7-3.
Samuel added the second touchdown and Robert Gould kicked a 25-yard field goal after a Niners drive stalled at the 1-yard line. Gould missed a 42-yard pass midway through the fourth quarter to keep the Rams in the game until Stafford’s interception on a screen that Hufanga perfectly anticipated.
“You can smell a rat when it comes to those things,” he said. “They have been checking screens all night. I saw a different release than I am used to. I dropped the ball.”
One of the game’s biggest hits was met by a protester who ran onto the field late in the second quarter with a device that let out pink smoke.
When the protester approached the offside Rams, linebacker bobby wagner came out and crushed him with a great blow. The man was carried off the field by security and play quickly resumed.
“I just saw someone running in the field,” Wagner said. “It looked like I wasn’t supposed to be on the field, so I saw that security was having a problem, so I helped them out.”
Rams: Coleman Sheltonreplacing the injured center brian allen, left the game with an ankle injury in the first quarter. That third string forced center Jeremiah Kolone in action.
49ers: Colton McKivitzreplacing the injured All-Pro LT trent williams, left the game in the second half due to a knee injury and did not return. … SD arik armsteadwho missed last week’s game with a foot injury also left this game with a foot injury and did not return.
UNTIL NEXT TIME
Rams: Host Dallas on Sunday.
49ers: Visit Carolina on Sunday.
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