Kicker Gould’s game-winning field goal boots 49ers past Rams, 23-20, in LA

San Francisco 49ers kicker Robbie Gould (4) is mobbed by his teammates after kicking the game winning field goal against the Los Angeles Rams in the fourth quarter on Sun Nov 29, 2020 (photo from sfgate.com)

By Joe Hawkes
Staff Writer

LOS ANGELES — Heading into Week 12, the Los Angeles Rams sat atop of the NFC West while the San Francisco occupied the basement of the division.

For the first 2 1/2 quarters of Sunday’s game, it looked like the roles were reversed. For a second, the Rams appeared to regain the upper-hand before the 49ers would finish off the season thanks to Robbie Gould’s 42-yard field goal as time expired for a 23-20 upset victory in their first game at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood.

The win for San Francisco completes a season sweep over Los Angeles. It also gives the 49ers a four-game winning streak over the Rams and snaps their three-game losing streak. The 49ers improve to 5-6 on the season and remain in the hunt for a playoff spot in the NFC.

Three of the 49ers’ most important players returned to the field Sunday, each making big contributions to the win.

Wide receiver Deebo Samuel who missed the last three games with a strained hamstring, had the biggest play from scrimmage for the 49ers in the first quarter. Samuel turned quarterback Nick Mullens’ short pass into a 33-yard pick up on the 49ers’ third possession of the game.

Three plays later, one play after a 26-yard gain from Samuel, running back Raheem Mostert rushed for an 8-yard touchdown slipping down the left sideline to give the 49ers a 7-3 lead.

Mostert who was making his return to the lineup for the first time since Week 6 (against the Rams), finished with 43 yards on 16 carries.

The offense was noticeably different with both Samuel and Mostert in the lineup. Samuel finished with career-highs in catches (11) and yards (133).

Mullens, albeit a bit shaky for most of the game, made plays down the stretch to put the 49ers in position to win. He completed 24 of 35 passes for 252 yards, no touchdowns and one interception that resulted on a tipped pass by Rams game-wrecker Aaron Donald that fell into the arms of Jordan Fuller.

Donald was essentially a non factor in the team’s first meeting, but was wrecking ball in today’s game.

With the 49ers holding a 17-6 lead midway through the third quarter, Donald split between right tackle Mike McGlinchey and rookie center Colton McKivitz and forced a Mostert fumble. Cornerback Troy Hill scooped it up and returned the fumble 20 yards for a touchdown to trim San Francisco’s lead to 17-13.

On San Francisco’s next possession, Donald sacked Mullens on first down for a loss of eight yards that led to a three-and-out. On the Rams’ next drive, rookie running back Cam Akers ripped off a 61-yard run to setup first-and-goal at the 49ers’ 6-yard line. Two plays later, Akers barrels his way into the end zone for a 1-yard score to give the Rams their first lead of the game, 20-17.

San Francisco’s offense committed three turnovers and finished 3 of 14 on third downs but it was the play by the defense, forcing four turnovers and the returning Richard Sherman that put the 49ers over the top.

Sherman, who hasn’t played since Week 1, made his presence felt early in the game when he intercepted Rams quarterback Jared Goff in the first quarter. Sherman would finish with a team-high seven tackles.

The front seven made life difficult for Goff all day, creating great pressure from defensive tackles Javon Kinlaw and Kevin Givens that allowed defensive end Kerry Hyder to feast.

Hyder recorded two sacks off Goff, who threw his second interception of the game in the third quarter to Kinlaw where the rookie returned it 27 yards to give the 49ers a 14-3 lead. Hyder leads the team with 7.5 sacks this year.

For the second time this season, the 49ers didn’t allow Goff to crack 200 yards passing as the Rams’ signal-caller finished 19 of 31 for 198 yards, no touchdowns, two interceptions and one fumble.

In the first matchup against San Francisco, Goff completed 19 of 38 passes for 198 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in San Francisco’s 24-16 on Oct. 18.

Goff entered Sunday’s contest after putting up 376 yards and three touchdowns (with two interceptions) on 39 of 51 pass attempts in the Rams’ 27-24 win over the Buccaneers on ESPN’s Monday Night Football at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

Safety Jimmie Ward forced two fumbles on the day, each recovered by Givens and Hyder.

Defensively, the 49ers held the Rams to 308 yards of total offense and 4 of 13 on third downs.

The 49ers are set to host games against the Buffalo Bills on Dec. 7 and Washington on Dec. 13 but due to a ban on contact sports by the Santa Clara County Public Health Department that was announced Saturday, San Francisco doesn’t have a venue as of yet.

Possible locations include Arizona and Texas according to multiple reports. Those are also the sites of the 49ers’ two final road games. The 49ers are scheduled to play at Dallas on Sunday, Dec. 20, and at Arizona on either Saturday, Dec. 26, or Sunday, Dec. 27.

49ers dismantle Patriots, 33-6, in Foxboro behind Jeff Wilson’s 3 TDs; four takeaways from the defense

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) gets the blocking in first half action against the New England Patriots on Sun Oct 25, 2020 in Foxboro. 49ers running back Jeffrey Wilson carried for three touchdowns in the contest. (AP News photo)

By Joe Hawkes
Staff Writer

FOXBORO, MA — The San Francisco 49ers should enjoy the plane ride back to Santa Clara, after earning a 33-6 victory over the New England Patriots on Sunday evening at a fan-less Gillette Stadium.

The 49ers (4-3) keeps pace in a stacked NFC West as they will now enter a pivotal Week 8 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. San Francisco may have to travel to Seattle without two key players in wide receiver Deebo Samuel (hamstring) and running back Jeff Wilson (ankle), both leaving Sunday’s win with injuries and didn’t return to the game.

For the second straight game, the 49ers scored a TD on their opening possession. Last week, San Francisco marched down the field on the Los Angeles Rams and scored a TD to quickly claim a 7-0 lead.

This week, the 49ers set the tone of the game by finishing off a nine-play 75-yard drive with the first of Wilson’s three TDs in the game. In the first half, head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense racked up 301 yards of production and claimed a 23-3 lead at halftime.

Wilson was the workhorse for the 49ers, who were thin at running back with both Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman out with injuries. San Francisco listed Wilson as questionable for the game after sitting out the previous two games with a calf injury. In a surprising move, Wilson got his third career start and didn’t disappoint as he posted a career-high in rushing yards.

All in the first half.

Wilson, whose previous career-best was 90 yards against the Denver Broncos late in the 2018 season, rushed for 92 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries in 30 minutes of action. He finished with 17 carries for 112 yards and a career-best three touchdowns before exiting the game with an ankle injury in the middle of the third quarter.

Wilson was taken to the 49ers locker room on a cart. He was injured on a 7-yard scoring run that gave the 49ers a commanding 30-6 lead.

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo played good, but not great in his return to Foxboro. The former Patriot backup signal caller completed 20 of 25 pass attempts for 277 yards (with two interceptions in the first half).

Garoppolo made plays early, converting a third-and-3 after breaking a tackle in the backfield to pick up four yards. He also connected on sharp passes to Samuel for 23- and 14-yard gains to keep drives alive. Garoppolo had completions to six different receivers, but it was rookie wideout Brandon Aiyuk who benefited the most.

Aiyuk finished with a career-high six receptions for 115 yards.

San Francisco did a tremendous job in controlling the clock in the game, dominating the time of possession over the Patriots (38:23-21:37) while picking up 26 first downs to just 17 for New England, and racking up 467 yards of total offense.

The 49ers ran 63 offensive plays, compared to just 49 by the Patriots, who looked anemic for the entirety of the game.

Garoppolo got the better result in his head-to-head matchup with Cam Newton, who had a rough performance completing just nine of 15 pass attempts for 98 yards an three interceptions. Newton was benched in the second half and replaced by backup quarterback Jarrett Stidham.

San Francisco’s defense put the clamps on Newton and the Patriots’ offense.

The 49ers limited New England to just 241 yards and 1 for 6 on third downs. New England’s scoring consisted of two Nick Folk field goals from 40 and 41 yards.

49ers middle linebacker Fred Warner, who is making a strong case for Defensive Player of the Year, has been a lifesaver for San Francisco this season. Warner was all over the field, leading the team with seven tackles and one of the four interceptions by the defense. Warner’s second quarter interception was his second on the season.

Cornerbacks Emmanuel Moseley (one) and Jamar Taylor (two) had the other interceptions for the 49ers.

With the Niners holding a 20-point lead at halftime, the Patriots had just 59 yards of total offense.

Meanwhile, the Patriots (2-4) have lost three games in a row for the first time since 2002. The 27-point loss at home was the worse under head coach Bill Belichick.

 

49ers hold off Rams, 24-16, behind Jimmy Garoppolo’s 3 TDs; strong defense

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) gets the football away as he’s being rushed by the Los Angeles Rams defensive end Aaron Donald (99) and nose tackle Sebastian Joseph-Day (69) in the first half of Sun Oct 18, 2020 at Levis Stadium in Santa Clara (AP News photo)

By Joe Hawkes
Staff Writer

SANTA CLARA, Calif — In a game that many viewed was a must-win to salvage their season, the San Francisco 49ers was able to outlast the visiting Los Angeles Rams, 24-16, on NBC’s Sunday Night Football behind three TDs from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in the first half and a strong effort from the defense.

It’s the first win for the 49ers at Levi’s Stadium this season, after dropping their first three home games to the Arizona Cardinals, Philadelphia Eagles and the Miami Dolphins.

The 49ers (3-3) jumped on the Rams early, scoring touchdowns on three of their first four possessions. On San Francisco’s first possession, Garoppolo engineered a 6-play, 76-yard drive that was capped off by a 6-yard pass to wide receiver Deebo Samuel for the TD to put the 49ers up 7-0 in the first quarter.

Garoppolo was 4-for-4 for 69 yards on the opening drive.

After the 49ers’ defense forced the Rams to punt on their opening possession of the game, San Francisco took a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter on Garopplo’s second TD of the game. Garoppolo would find tight end George Kittle for a a 44-yard score after the 49ers faced a 4th and 2 from the Rams 44-yard line.

Kittle’s score punctuated a 10-play, 87-yard drive in 6:08 for the 49ers, who emphasized getting the football out of Garoppolo’s hands quickly and relied heavily on the running game which took a hit when running back Raheem Mostert left the game early in the third quarter with an ankle injury.

Mostert was off to a good start, carrying the ball 17 times for 65 yards before his exit.

Kittle led all receivers with seven catches for 109 yards and the TD, while Samuel finished six catches for 66 yards and a score.

After quarterback Jared Goff found wide receiver Robert Woods in the middle of the end zone on a 10-yard TD to get the Rams on the scoreboard and cut San Francisco’s lead to 14-6, following a missed extra point, the 49ers would put together another scoring drive shortly before halftime.

Garoppolo engineered a 13-play, 75-yard drive that chewed up 7:16 and found rookie wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk for a 2-yard score that gave the 49ers a commanding 21-6 lead.

Garoppolo was 17 of 21 for 215 yards and 3 TDs in the first half. Offensively, the 49ers had their way with the Rams, racking up 18 first downs and 291 yards of total offense in the first 30 minutes of the game.

Garoppolo, who was benched after the first half in last week’s 43-17 embarrassing loss to the Miami Dolphins at home in which he completed just 7 of 17 passing for 77 yards, two interceptions and a career-low 15.7 passer rating; bounced back this week with a better showing by completing 23 of 33 passes for 268 yards, 3 TDs and a 124.3 passer rating.

Oh yeah, he improves to 4-0 against the Rams all-time.

Coming into the game, the talk leading up to the showdown against the Rams was if Garoppolo could show that he’s still the right quarterback for the 49ers long term and could San Francisco’s much maligned offensive line withstand the dominating force that is perennial Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald.

San Francisco’s offensive line, which has been a target of criticism the last two weeks as they surrendered 23 quarterback hits and 10 sacks in the last two games, kept Donald off Garoppolo the entire night.

For the game, Donald registered just one solo tackle and one quarterback pressure after recording four of the Rams’ eight sacks against the Washington Football Team last week in Los Angeles’ 30-10 win on the road.

In the second half, the Rams (4-2) converted their first possession into a 42-yard field goal by kicker Samuel Sloman to cut the 49ers’ lead to 21-9.

Following back-to-back 3-and-outs by the 49ers, Goff drove the Rams down to the 49ers’ 2-yard line and looked like Los Angeles would finish off the drive with a TD but Goff’s pass intended for wide receiver Josh Reynolds was intercepted in the end zone by cornerback Jason Verrett.

Verrett thwarted a golden scoring opportunity for Goff and the Rams that could’ve changed the tenor of the game.

Goff finished 19 of 38 for 198 yards, 2 TDs and one interception as 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh mixed up coverages that didn’t allow Goff and the Rams’ offense to get comfortable on Sunday night.

The 49ers added a 49-yard field goal by Robbie Gould to push their lead up to 24-9 in the fourth quarter, but the Rams wouldn’t go down quietly.

On the Rams’ next drive, Goff hooked up with Reynolds for a 40-yard TD over cornerback Emmaunel Moseley. Moseley was called for a defensive pass interference call, but the Rams declined the penalty making the score 24-16.

San Francisco’s defense held the Rams to 4 of 12 on third downs and 311 yards of total offense. Much of those yards came on the Rams’ final drive of the game. Moseley, along with linebackers Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw paced the defense with seven tackles each.

The schedule gets more daunting for San Francisco with games against the New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints, and Rams again in the next five weeks.

For at least one night, the 49ers have quieted the skeptics with an impressive win over their divisional rivals from Southern California.

 

Fantasy Football Doctors Podcast: NFL Week 14 – Let’s win this week!

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Your hosts: Dr. Vasu Vaddiparty & Dr. Charlie O

  • Who are QBs that you should start this week?

  • Derek Carr could have a big game versus the Bengals

  • Can Josh Allen humble the Dolphins?

  • Will veteran Philip Rivers handle the Chiefs?

  • Is Jimmy Garoppolo worth a start?

  • Tevin Coleman could be the hot RB start this week

  • Will Joe Mixon have a good day versus the Raiders?

  • Should you sit Sony Michel?

  • The Bills’ John Brown may be the best play at WR Sunday

  • Oakland’s Tyrell Williams is looking for a big day versus Cincy

  • The Niners’ Deebo Samuel maybe a right play this week

    The doctors have a wealth of information for you designed to help you win your matchup this week. Push play and win!

Undefeated Niners have potential trap game

Photo credit: @SNFonNBC

By Jeremy Harness

SANTA CLARA–The 49ers are riding a wave they have not experienced in almost 30 years, winning their first five games and getting a statement victory last Sunday against the defending NFC champions on the road.

The Washington Redskins, on the other hand, are 1-5, just fired their head coach a week and a half ago, and only got their first win after holding off a furious comeback against unquestionably the worst team in the NFL, the Miami Dolphins.

These are the Redskins that the 49ers will travel across the country to face on Sunday, and this can be safely classified as a potential trap game, for all the reasons illustrated above.

Washington has question marks all over the place, and based on the moves that are being made on and off the field, they are not expected to be solved any time soon. This should all equate to a convincing win, but stranger things have happened in the NFL over the years.

The interim head coach across the sideline from the 49ers has Bay Area ties, as Bill Callahan, who previously served as the team’s offensive line coach until taking over for the fired Jay Gruden, was at the helm when the Oakland Raiders went to the Super Bowl after the 2002 season before he himself was fired after the team stumbled to a 4-12 mark the very next year.

Aside from missing their two starting tackles, starting fullback and starting right corner, the 49ers do have a few other injury concerns as they head into Sunday.

A pair of significant offensive players, tight end George Kittle and receiver Deebo Samuel, sat out Wednesday’s practice with groin ailments. Both are listed as day-to-day and are expected to play Sunday.

Running back Raheem Mostert did not practice Wednesday with a knee strain, and he, too, is day-to-day.

For the Redskins, cornerback Josh Norman was held out of Wednesday’s practice with hand and thigh injuries, while running back Adrian Peterson’s quad ailment kept him from practicing as well.