Santa Clara, CA – It came down to one play that was almost executed perfectly. Following a perfect onside kick recovery, Trent Taylor was called for pass inference. That penalty was crucial, losing yards and failing to convert on third down proved costly.
“We had penalties and turnovers,” said Carlos Hyde. “We were pretty much shooting ourselves in the foot. We have to eliminate that part. We started showcasing that at the end of the game. If we could have just come out like that, it could have been a different outcome for us.”
The Los Angeles Rams 41-39 victory over the 49ers felt like a playoff game to say the least. San Francisco’s comeback attempt was close, but the performance of Jared Goff was pretty spectacular. He probably played the best game of his career.
He went 22-of-28 for 292 yards with three touchdowns. Brian Hoyer became more aggressive in the second half going 23-of-37 for 332 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. The Rams scored three touchdowns in the second half while the 49ers had four.
An impressive finish was over shadowed by a bad penalty. Hyde who left the game in the first quarter with a hip injury dominated in the second half. Hyde’s 1-yard touchdown cut the lead down to two points. After a failed two-point conversion, the 49ers were hoping for a miracle and they got it.
“I don’t think the defense was set up the way we wanted them to be,” Taylor said. “They kind of reacted late to our play. It just didn’t work out the way we wanted to.”
Robbie Gould’s onside kick was recovered by Raheem Mostert, San Francisco had a chance to win the game. But a pass inference call on Taylor pushed them back, Hoyer then threw an incomplete pass followed by getting sacked. LA took over and survived the win.
It was unbelievable football for a Thursday night. The Rams recorded their second win while the 49ers are still winless. The effort was the best we’ve seen but it wasn’t enough to end their losing streak. Goff and his offense out played and out hustled San Francisco throughout the game, especially in the first half.
Hoyer’s pass was intercepted on opening drive by N. Robey-Coleman. That setup Todd Curley’s 3-yard touchdown which only took 4 seconds off the clock. Curley had 28 carries for 113 yards with two touchdowns. Goff had two weapons in both Gurley and Robert Woods.
“The guy made a good play,” said Hoyer when asked what happened on the first play. “He guessed right. We’re thinking with Marquise going over there, the speed that he has, the guy’s going to back way off. He just decided to sit on it so you chalk it up the guy making a good play. Making a good guess.”
Hoyer later made up for the early turnover and rushed for a 9-yard touchdown to tie the game. The 49ers used their running game to gain ground, unfortunately, during that same series, Hyde went out with a hip injury but returned in the second quarter ineffective.
Goff who didn’t get the opportunity to play last year at Levi’s Stadium took every opportunity to go deep. His 31-yard pass to Woods put LA in great field position before Goff connected with Gurley for a 7-yard touchdown putting the Rams up 14-7. If things couldn’t get any worse for San Francisco, Mostert rushed up the middle for no gain and fumbled the ball.
N. Robey recovered setting up Greg Zuerlein’s 48-yard field. Another costly penalty put the Rams back on the goal line. Right before the half ended Goff found Woods for a 13-yard pass and that put LA in the red zone. But a personal foul on Jimmie Ward with a helmet to helmet hit on Woods, for unnecessary roughness moved them to the goal line.
Gurley then rushed for the 2-yard touchdown giving the Rams a 24-13 lead. By the third the 49ers went back to their running game and this time Hyde dominated. San Francisco went for it on 4th and goal, with Hyde rushing in for the 1-yard touchdown. From there it became a battle between two teams who wanted desperately to win.
It was the 49ers who scored back-to-back touchdowns before squandering their chances with a few dumb penalties. Injuries were another factor, safety Jaquiski Tartt left the game with a concussion. Fullback Kyle Juszcyk had a neck injury and linebacker Brock Coyle also left the game with a concussion.
“I was proud of the guys, how they fought,” head coach Kyle Shanahan said. We just need to get better. We’ve got 10 days until our next game. It’s a division opponent in Arizona. I know we’re all excited for that. We’re going to have rehab for the guys to get healthy and try to get the players away from us for about three days.
I just really challenge them to use those three days away to get their bodies and minds right, because we plan on them coming back Monday and we plan on getting better each week. When you’re 0-3 and you’re facing some adversity, you either get better or worse.”