The 49ers won their first game at Levi’s Stadium in 394 on Monday night. The San Francisco defense shut down an explosive attack on the Los Angeles Rams. 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan selected two offensive touches in the first half, lasting a total of almost 19 minutes. From there, Niners sailing was smooth.
Let’s take a look at my five takeaway below.
Jimmie Ward’s two rounds set the tone for the 49ers
Jimmie Ward abducted Matthew Stafford in the first and second Rams attacks. Ward was responsible for capturing his career overnight. It looks like Shanahan was right that the team was in a huge hurry. Ward’s efforts set the tone for San Francisco.
Stafford tried to continue the game and threw a bomb at Odell Beckham Jr. in Ward’s first turn. It was a gift, but the 49ers haven’t received those gifts this season. Don’t look any further than the game before Emmanuel Moseley dropped the cut, or later in the game when Moseley did the same.
Ward took advantage of Tyler Higbe’s drop with his second abduction and took the abduction to the touchdown. This result lifted the 49ers 14-0.
The energy, effort and performance seen in the defense was reminiscent of 2019. If the 49ers are to get into the run in the second half, they will have to mimic their performance on Monday night against Rams.
Two runs over 90 yards in the first half
Ward’s first abduction was left deep in the San Francisco 7-yard line. I was afraid Shanahan would play it safe, but this Niner team forced their will on both sides of the ball at the beginning of the game. Shanahan paid 13 runs in 18 games, a 93-yard touchdown on the Drive. San Francisco cleared the clock in 11 minutes and proved to be a more physical team.
Kyle Posey broke the opening run, which ended in contact with George Kitty. In summary, the 49ers played Bully ball. They hit the ram in the mouth while using the wrong direction to make sure their skill players had a 1-1 advantage or numbered in the box.
Shanahan continued to strengthen the run on the second run. One thing is to come up and dominate during the opening script. But can you answer that in another run? Shanahan did.
The 11-game, 91-yard run, which lasted nearly eight minutes from the clock, is nothing worth mocking. But this time, Jimmy Garoppolo moved into 2nd and 9th, 3rd and 7th, and 2nd and 8th before Deebo Samuel hit in front of it eight yards away.
The 49ers’ defense played its best game of the season
The 49er defense played well at all levels of defense (line of defense, chasers, secondary). Ward’s two rounds of consecutive defense times to open the game showed that this defense can be played at a high level.
The defense played a few faces from the corner defenders, but they didn’t surrender the pass over 20 yards. Allowing chunky and explosive plays has been a recurring theme in San Francisco. So it was good to see 49er Secondary stop it.
Azeez Al-Shaair flew around and continued the great tackles. Including two consecutive (above) who helped the 49er defense shut down Sean McVay before Halftime. DJ Jones ’fourth stop could be a game of play. Who knew Jones could fly that way?
The Rams never got into a situation where they could rely on running. It forced the Rams to be one-dimensional, and they don’t make it a crime. Matthew Stafford finished 243 yards. Outside the Cooper Cup cleaning up the trash, Rams did little to attack.
Deebo Samuel plays at the All-Pro level
Deebo Samuel has been a chess piece in this 49er attack all season. Shanahan referred Samuel to the backfield several times to portray him as a runner. Samuel was even used as a leader throughout the game.
Deebo added the Offensive Player of the Week award to his collection after two touches against Rams. I’m not sure which is more impressive when I know that Samuel is used in several places and he still succeeds, or that the defense knows he’s getting the ball and they still can’t stop him.
That’s the brand of the All-Pro player. With Deebo’s style of play, he could end up in the All-Pro this season. He has been spectacular.
Can the 49ers take that momentum to the winning streak?
There is no doubt that Kyle Shanahan has been responsible for Niner’s playoff hopes. According to FiveThrirghtyEight, the odds on the San Francisco playoffs have risen 35% after falling to 20% for the Arizona Cardinals in a worrying loss last week.
It makes sense for the Niners to be 9-1 when they don’t turn the ball, and they’re from 2019. Their style of play makes it hard to return against opponents. Unfortunately, the moves and various mistakes haven’t given the 49ers enough leadership in their games this season.
Niners is 6.5 favorites over Jaguars. They will probably be favored next week against the Vikings. After winning the Rams, one would think San Francisco could take that momentum to Sunday and turn it into a winning streak.
The big teams win together and can rise which game. Let’s see if the 49ers fall into this category.