The San Francisco 49ers returned to game action with a 22-16 win over the Los Angeles Chargers on "Sunday Night Football." The 49ers trailed 16-10 at the half but rallied to put up 12 unanswered points in the final two quarters of the game. San Francisco's defensive unit held Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert to under 200 yards passing and delivered its second-straight second half shutout. With the win, the 49ers improve to 5-4 on the year and are second in the NFC West.
"I was proud of our team today," head coach Kyle Shanahan said. "I want to play better. I want to blow people out. I want to score every time we go, but those are the types of games that that team is really good at winning. I think four out of their five wins, they've been behind by two scores... We still found a way to win."
Nick Bosa adds one more to the sack count
With his second quarter sack of Herbert, Bosa keeps his streak of recording at least a sack in seven of the eight games he's played in during the 2022 season. He now has 9.5 sacks on the year and is second on the NFL's sack leaderboard. The 49ers defensive lineman took down Herbert for a loss of a yard and helped San Francisco's unit hold the Chargers to a field goal on their second to last drive of the first half.
Jimmy Garoppolo sneaks in to notch his seventh-career rushing touchdown
Garoppolo scored San Francisco's only touchdown of the first half, sneaking in for the one-yard touchdown on third and goal. The quarterback's rushing touchdown capped off a nine-play, 75-yard drive for the 49ers and marks the seventh rushing score of his career. Garoppolo closed out the night completing 19-of-28 passes for 240 yards and a rushing touchdown.
"There's different ways to win in this league," Garoppolo said. "There are a lot of resilient guys, a lot of mature guys. That was a big thing on the sideline and at halftime, just the maturity of our team, especially offensively how we stuck together. It wasn't pretty early on, and they (Chargers) were doing some things that gave us trouble. But, we stuck with it and got the 'W.'"
Ray-Ray McCloud III records career-long reception
The fourth-year receiver caught a career-long 33-yard, over-the-shoulder pass from Garoppolo that was a key play in San Francisco's touchdown drive in the second quarter of Sunday's contest.
The defensive line stacks the sacks
The 49ers defensive front racked up 3.0 sacks against Los Angeles for a total loss of nine yards. Defensive linemen Charles Omenihu, Jordan Willis and Nick Bosa were each credited with a sack. Bosa is up to 9.5 sacks on the year, Omenihu has 4.0 and Willis, who started the year on Injured Reserve, notched his first takedown of the season versus the Chargers. Omenihu's sack also resulted in a forced fumble.
The 49ers backfield is stacked with talent
San Francisco has weapons for days in their offensive backfield with Samuel and Mitchell joining running back Christian McCaffrey in the backfield for the first time. This is Mitchell's first game back since the season opener in Chicago where he suffered an MCL sprain. The second-year running back had 18 carries for 89 yards. McCaffrey had 14 carries and racked up 38 yards on the ground for San Francisco. The offensive backfield is not complete without the 49ers 'wideback' Samuel who had four carries for 27 yards against the Chargers.
"When Elijah is healthy, he can run the ball," Shanahan said when asked about Mitchell's usage in his first game back. "Seeing him Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, he looked ready to go. That's what we were hoping for. We know we have a really good back in Elijah. We know we just brought in a really good one with Christian, and it's nice to make those guys a one-two punch and keep Deebo as the bonus."
Talanoa Hufanga picks up another interception
The second-year safety notched his fourth interception of the season late in the fourth quarter of Sunday's contest. Hufanga intercepted Herbert on his first pass attempt of LA's final drive. The Chargers quarterback took a hit from Omenihu midway through his throw, and the safety was able to come up with the ball to seal the victory.
The 49ers defense shuts out another opponent in the second half
San Francisco ended Sunday night's game the same way they closed things out against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 8. After allowing16 points in the first half, DeMeco Ryans' unit did not surrender another point over the next two quarters. Among the many impressive stops of the second half was the turnover on downs the defense delivered on the Chargers second to last offensive series. The unit forced three incompletions on four of those plays to take over on the eight yard line.
"It's extremely satisfying. We needed it (the second half shutout)," Bosa said. "We got our offense back, and we got the win."