As the saying goes, "look good, feel good, play good," and the team managed to do that while donning their all-white throwback-inspired uniforms on "Sunday Night Football." San Francisco took to primetime and earned their first home win at Levi's® Stadium of the season following a wire-to-wire, 24-16 victory over the Los Angeles Rams. The 49ers now improve their record to .500 on the season. Here are eight takeaways from the divisional match.
1. Near-Perfect Offensive First Half
Out of the gate, the 49ers opened the game with an efficient six-play, 76-yard drive that culminated in a Deebo Samuel touchdown. Jimmy Garoppolo connected with Samuel on a 6-yard shovel pass up the left sideline for the score. The quarterback completed passes to Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle on the drive. He was a perfect 4-for-4 passing for 69 yards and a touchdown for a perfect 158.3 passer rating.
San Francisco's pass catchers (affectionately known as "Yac Bros") amassed 89 yards after the catch on that drive.
The team followed up two series later with a 10-play, 87-yard drive that extended the team's lead to 14-0. Going for it on 4th-and-2 near midfield, Garoppolo threw a slant pass to Kittle, who forced a missed tackle on a wide-open route into the end zone.
The 49ers fourth drive of the half resulted in seven points as Garoppolo orchestrated another touchdown drive. Kendrick Bourne caught back-to-back passes of 19 and 25 yards, respectively, to move the 49ers downfield. Garoppolo capped off the drive with a 2-yard touchdown pass to Aiyuk to put the 49ers up 21-6.
Garoppolo finished the first half completing 17-of-21 passes for 215 yards and three touchdowns for a quarterback rating of 148.9. His three touchdowns are tied for the most thrown by the quarterback in any half.
2. Slow Start for LA's Offense
San Francisco almost managed to hold off the Rams offense in the first half. The 49ers defense forced back-to-back punts and limited Rams quarterback Jared Goff to 3-of-9 completions for 30 yards through two quarters. Their only score of the first half came on a well-defended touchdown pass from Goff to Rams receiver Robert Woods.
Goff finished the night completing 50 percent of his passes for 198 yards, two touchdowns and an interception for a 70.2 quarterback rating, his lowest of the season.
3. Special, Special Teams
It's not every day that you see a blocked extra point attempt. On the Rams first touchdown drive, defensive lineman Dion Jordan got his hand on the kick that forced a missed a point after attempt.
On a 49ers punt, Tarvarius Moore downed the ball at the 1-yard line. The drive resulted in a quick 3-and-out for the Rams.
4. Aaron Donald
The 49ers successfully managed to contain former Defensive Player of the Year, Aaron Donald. Last week in the Rams 30-10 road win over the Washington Football Team, Donald recorded four sacks, three quarterback hits, three tackles for loss and forced a fumble en route to being named NFC Defensive Player of the Week. San Francisco's offense kept Garoppolo virtually untouched throughout the contest, giving up zero sacks on the night and just two quartertback pressures.
"It's a huge challenge. (Donald is) as good of a player, everyone knows that," Kyle Shanahan said postgame. "I thought our O-line did a very good job. We tried to avoid him as much as possible. And I think we were able to do that for the most part today. Rarely does that happen, but I thought our guys were up for the challenge. They knew what was ahead of them. And they came out and did as good as they could in that area."
According to Next Gen Stats, the Rams pass rush struggled to generate pressure on Garoppolo, generating pressure on just 6.1 percent of dropbacks (2-of-33), the Rams second-lowest rate in a game since 2016.
Sunday was a vast improvement in pass protection. The 49ers gave up a whopping 10 sacks over their last two contests against the Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins.
5. YAC Bros
The 49ers allowed honorary members into the "YAC Bros" club with several pass catchers picking up yards after the reception. In the first half, San Francisco amassed 181 yards after the catch.
6. Mostert's Momentum
Raheem Mostert was having a standout first half that aided in the 49ers momentum while moving downfield. The running back nearly broke off several big runs on the day. In the third quarter, the running back was ruled out of the game with an ankle injury. He finished the game with 65 yards on 17 carries and caught both of his targets for 11 yards.
"I think Raheem showed in this league, starting last year, how special of a back he is," Shanahan said. "So anytime you lose a special guy like that, there definitely is a change. But I've also got a lot of confidence in our other guys too. ...It always hurts when you lose a good one like Raheem."
Shanahan said the team will examine the extent of Mostert's ankle injury on Monday.
Mostert's injury opened up snaps for 49ers undrafted running back JaMycal Hasty. Hasty saw his first snaps in the fourth quarter and finished the night with nine touches for 37 yards.
7. Cornerback Come-ups
Jason Verrett has been a bright spot on the 49ers defense while the team deals with a number of injuries. The corner made a diving pass breakup in the first half on a deep pass intended for Rams tight end Gerald Everett.
Late in the third quarter on 4th-and-goal, the cornerback jumped a lobbed pass in the back of the end zone intended for Josh Reynolds for an interception, the first takeaway of the day. Verrett's pick marked his first interception since Week 1 of 2016.
"Jason's been great. I mean, you guys could see him in his coverages today," Shanahan said. "He almost had his hands on a few of them. I know he got that one, but he almost had a number of them. And not just how he covers, but I mean, Jason's a man out there - the way he carries himself, the way he likes to mix it up. He loves playing football, he loves the physicality of the game. And he's a great talent in terms of cover. To have him on our team, I'm just happy for him that he's been able to get out there again."
Emmanuel Moseley's return was a huge boost for the 49ers secondary, making his first start since Week 2 after missing three games while in concussion protocol. The corner also notched two pass breakups of his own, including a deep ball intended for Reynolds to force a Rams punt.
8. Injury Updates
In addition to Mostert, Jaquiski Tartt suffered a groin injury. Left tackle Trent Williams left the game briefly with a head injury, but returned on the 49ers ensuing drive. Finally, Ben Garland left the game with a calf injury and did not return. Hroniss Grasu finished the game at center. The team will further assess all injuries when the 49ers return to the facility on Monday.