SANTA CLARA, California (AP) – Jimmy Garoppolo threw two touchdown passes, Jimmie Ward returned one of his two first quarter interceptions for another score, and the San Francisco 49ers beat the Los Angeles Rams 31-10 Monday night for the their first home win in more than a year.
The Niners (4-5) had lost four out of five games and were in danger of dropping out of the playoff race before putting together a full performance against the Rams (7-3). San Francisco has won five straight wins against Los Angeles.
Garoppolo threw TD passes to George Kittle and Deebo Samuel, Samuel also ran for a point and Ward provided the big defensive plays to give San Francisco its second home win in the past two seasons. The other also came against the Rams on 8 October. 18, 2020.
The Niners sealed the game when Garoppolo connected on a 40-yard TD to Samuel on the fourth and 6 at the start of the fourth period which made it 31-7.
Garoppolo finished 15 out of 19 for 182 yards and two TDs.
The Rams lost for a second straight week with Matthew Stafford once again throwing two interceptions, one of which returned for a touchdown.
Los Angeles struggled to get into any attacking pace in the first game after catcher Robert Woods fell from a late season knee injury last week in practice.
Odell Beckham Jr. made his Los Angeles debut after signing last week but only had two holds for 18 yards.
Newly acquired rusher Von Miller also played for the Rams for the first time and had three tackles, but did not put Garoppolo under pressure.
Stafford went 26 for 41 for 243 yards with a TD, two interceptions and nearly a third that K’Waun Williams trapped on his backside just for wiping it out of a sanction.
TAKE IT AWAY
Ward intercepted Stafford in the first two drives of the Los Angeles game after arriving on the night with two INTs in 85 games and none since 2016.
Ward became the seventh player since 2000 with two interceptions, including a pick-6, in the first quarter.
KEEP IT AWAY
The Niners did a good job keeping the ball away from Stafford in the first half. They had an 18-play, 93-yard drive that took 11:03 out of time after Ward’s first interception. He was capped with an 8-yard TD pass from Garoppolo to Kittle.
This was the second opener of at least 18 played in the past eight seasons, with Houston making it earlier this year against New England.
San Francisco then had an 11-play drive, 91 yards on second possession limited by Samuel’s 8-yard run take the lead 21-7.
Rams manager Sean McVay made a curious decision when he asked for a fake field goal on the fourth and -8 from 17 to 18 seconds from the end of the first half.
Starter Johnny Hekker completed a 2-yard pass to Kendall Blanton who was well short of the first down.
Rams: RB Darrell Henderson started in the first quarter to be assessed for a concussion but returned at halftime.
49ers: RT Jaylon Moore (knee) left the game in the first half.
Rams: Los Angeles has a goodbye next week before visiting Green Bay on November 28th
49ers: Visit Jacksonville on Sunday.