What They Said: 49ers, Rams Analyze the Divisional Clash

The San Francisco 49ers are 5-0 to open the season. The team traveled to Los Angeles and defeated the two-time defending NFC West champion Rams, 20-7. Here's what both locker rooms had to say following the matchup.

Niners Liners

Kyle Shanahan on winning without some key starters:

"I thought it was huge. Just the way they battled all day. That first drive, I haven't been a part of many first drives where you see the team run it eight times in a row just right down your throat. They only ended up with seven, right? Yeah, for that to be it, that's the way the guys recovered after that. That was a hell of a deal, they kept battling. You guys know we went in with some guys down which was a huge challenge, but [49ers running back] Tevin [Coleman] for times in the game, [49ers running back Matt] Breida, [49ers wide receiver] Deebo [Samuel], [49ers wide receiver] Marquise [Goodwin], there was a lot. We had to use everyone, and the guys toughed it out and it makes it a lot easier when our defense plays that way. Them going 0-9 on third down, 0-4 on fourth down, we played very good defense."

Shanahan on defensive coordinator Robert Saleh's game plan and the defense's performance against the Rams:

"I think he's done a great job. Take away that first drive, I felt like it was the entire game after that. You get a feel for that, especially as an offensive play caller too, just watching them when they go and it just gives you a lot of confidence watching that. We gave them a chance to get back in the game with the fumble on that one third down, but the 'D' stepped it up again, held them on a fourth down. After that, kind of had a feeling that if you just don't turn it over, we'll win this game. Haven't had that feeling very much in my career and the defense definitely gave it to me almost the whole game."

Shanahan on the 49ers 5-0 start:

"I'm very happy with how we played. We're 5-0 which is a great thing, but we're not playing our best ball. We could do a lot of things better than that and it seemed like our defense played at an extremely high level, obviously minus the first drive. We can continue to get better on offense, we can continue to get better on special teams. I also think our defense is just getting started too."

Robert Saleh on the defensive adjustments after the Rams first drive:

"You know what, we just had to get a grasp on what kind of runs we were getting and then what we could do without disrupting the structure of the defense. So, the adjustments we made in between series right there, we'll keep it in house obviously, thought the guys did a great job executing it, the coaches did a great job coaching it and we were able to put all that stuff to bed."

QB Jimmy Garoppolo on the momentum swing after the defense's goal line stand:

"Oh it was awesome. Like I said, it sparks everybody. Coaches, players, everybody. Everyone is hooting and hollering on the sidelines. It's just so much fun out there and to have a group like that that's so tightly knit on offense, defense and special teams where everyone's interacting with each other, it makes it a lot of fun."

Garoppolo on if he was concerned George Kittle wasn't going to play:

"George is an animal. He's an interesting individual and I don't know how he does what he does on a daily basis. You just have to tip your hat to him. The guy comes in, puts in the work, battles, he fights. It's awesome to have a guy like that. You can always rely on a guy like that."

Garoppolo on the key to a good quarterback sneak:

"Just be willing. It's not the prettiest thing in the world, but you just get low, do what you got to do, find the open space. Those guys up front, though, cleared the way. [49ers center Weston]) Wes [Richburg], [49rs offensive lineman Laken] Lake [Tomlinson], [49ers offensive lineman] Mike [Person], all those guys. I think the two rookies did great on the outside too, [49ers offensive lineman Daniel] Dan [Brunskill] and [49ers offensive tackle] Justin [Skule]. You know, battling all day, we really didn't have that many issues up front and for going up against a D-line like that, it was impressive."

TE George Kittle on if there was any doubt he was going to play against the Rams:

"No chance. Like I said, this is a game I've had on my calendar for a year. I haven't liked the way we've played against them the past two years. This is a 'dub' that we needed to get."

Kittle on his overall thoughts of the team's defense:

"There's nothing more that I love than watching our defensive line play. I was sitting there in the third quarter and I was like, 'Huh, I think the day that Jimmy G threw five-straight interceptions might have had something to do with our D-line being in his face for five-straight plays. They're pretty dang good. It's really fun to watch them and it definitely fires us up…Our defense is just giving our offense an opportunity to win the game. You definitely want to be able to get more points up there, we left a couple on the board but when you have a defense like that, and you show up like that, that's all you need."

DL Solomon Thomas on limiting the Rams to zero conversions on third and fourth down:

"We were just trying to get after the quarterback. Our backend did a great job, gave us time to get there and we all did a great job getting there. That's what we need to do every game to continue this win streak."

LB Fred Warner on the goal line stop:

"I think that's what you work for all offseason. In that moment, it was a long drive. They get down there and that's the time where you've got to suck it up and you've got to just play ball. I think guys up front, they got off really hard and it was handled."

CB Richard Sherman on the difference between San Francisco's defense in 2019:

"It's different for sure but I think it's having veteran players and trusting one another even more. Having Fred another year older, another year more mature. The secondary has been playing together a lot longer now, a lot more games under our belt. D-line. You just have such a trust in one another that guys are going to execute at a high level so there's nothing to panic about. You go to the sideline, they did a great job. You have to give the Rams all the credit in the world. They drew up some great plays in that first drive and hit us right in the mouth. That's the great thing about football, how you respond is big."

Rams Quotes

Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay's overall thoughts on the Rams performance vs. the 49ers:

"Congratulations to the 49ers, they did a good job today. There is a lot of things that…All I know how to do is just go back, let's look at the film, let's figure out what we can do to be better. The guys continued to battle, but really, it's just about let's stay together, let's not let this little bit of adversity that we're going through divide us. It's my job to make sure that we continue to work as hard as we can to look inward, find the solutions, and just get better. There is nothing we can do about this performance other than learn from it. That's all that I know how to do, that's what we will do, and we're going to work as hard as possible to do that."

McVay on if the 49ers defensive line dictated the Rams play calling:

"It does. Credit them, they did a nice job. We started out and there was a handful of things that went on. That's really why you can't wait to just go back because there were so many situations that took place after that first drive where we had some opportunities, when you get it in there and you don't punch it in from inside the one (yard line), with a couple chances. There are some things that, really throughout the game, it's a little bit of a whirlwind. No excuses, but we'll all look at it. We'll figure out how we can be better moving forward."

McVay on Jared Goff's performance:

"Yeah, it was hard. I mean really when you look at it, I want to say there were maybe six throws we had in the first half. We only had 25 or so plays, so in a lot of instances because we were running it and there were some different things where they did a nice job controlling some possessions that led to that. Then by the time you end up getting into some of those situations where you are throwing it a little bit more, they've got a great defense and they're kind of pinning their ears back and going and it's kind of hard to be able to get into a true rhythm there."

QB Jared Goff on the Rams struggles on offense against the 49ers:

"I don't know. We tried to move the ball down the field late in the game. We were running the ball so well early and were trying to stick with that. We just never really got in a rhythm. Their defense was able to settle in and that's part of it. I've had bad games before and try to limit them. It happens and just going to keep building, keep getting better and look inwardly and keep getting better."

Goff on if it's surprising to the see the 49ers this improved over a season:

"No, it's not surprising. They've got a lot of good players, they've got a lot of good coaches. They're coached very well and defensively, they've got some dudes up front who do their thing. They're going to give a lot of teams some problems, but it's a team that we're going to play again and hopefully get another shot at and play better next time."