SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The Los Angeles Rams might’ve bounced the 49ers out of the playoffs last year, but San Francisco’s owned the Rams in the regular season. The trend continued on Monday night.
The 49ers won their seventh straight regular-season game against their NFC West rivals.
San Francisco went into the locker room at halftime with a 14-6 lead and held on to their advantage in the second half to win 24-9 in what was a hard-fought battle between two franchises that have combined to represent the NFC in three of the past four Super Bowls.
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Here’s what we learned in the NFC West showdown:
Deebo Samuel displays playmaking skills
Jimmy Garoppolo tossed a short pass to the left to Deebo Samuel and the 49ers versatile wide receiver proceeded to maneuver around what seemed like the entire Rams secondary for a 57-yard touchdown catch and run. Samuel’s second quarter touchdown extended the Rams lead 14-6 and it exemplified why the 49ers gave him a three-year extension worth $73.5 million during the offseason.
In the fourth quarter, Samuel caught a short pass and scampered 29 yards down the field. Samuel’s playmaking ability with the ball is in his hands is uncanny.
Samuel registered six catches, 115 yards and a touchdown.
Battle in trenches
In what’s been a theme the past few years, the 49ers won the battle in the trenches versus the Rams. Los Angeles’ offense had a tough time containing the 49ers’ front seven. Matthew Stafford was under duress for much of the night. He was sacked four times in the first half and seven times total in the loss.
The 49ers O-line, who was missing standout tackle Trent Williams, got the better of the Rams defensive front.
San Francisco was the more physical team on both sides of the ball.
49ers stop Rams in red zone
A major takeaway in the game was the Rams’ inability to capitalize in the red zone. The Rams went 0-3 in the money area on Monday night.
Rams went 1-3 in the red zone in Week 3.
Los Angeles wasn’t much better on third down either. They were 5 of 14 in the loss.
The Rams needed another player not named Cooper Kupp to make plays for them. Kupp had a team-high 14 catches for 122 yards. He was targeted 19 times.
San Francisco’s stingy first half defense
The 49ers defense didn’t allow a first half touchdown. They haven’t allowed a touchdown in the first half this season.
San Francisco ended up keeping the Rams out of the end zone all four quarters. The Rams had a promising drive going down eight points midway through the fourth quarter, but Stafford was intercepted by 49ers safety Talanoa Hufanga and the USC product took it to the house for a pick six.
It was a game-sealing interception that put the 49ers up 15 points with a little over six minutes remaining in the contest.
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Tyler Dragon on Twitter @TheTylerDragon.
Story Credit: usatoday.com