The San Francisco 49ers sit in the No. 1 spot in the NFL power rankings for a second-straight week. The team is coming off a gritty 30-23 win in SoCal over the Los Angeles Rams in Week 2 to improve to 2-0 on the year. The 49ers will have little time to enjoy the moment with a Thursday night home opener versus the New York Giants next on the schedule.
It wasn't exactly a copy and paste from the season opener, but in a back-and-forth battle, the 49ers found their edge in the second half. The rally was started by cornerback Isaiah Oliver, who made a big-time tackle on third-down to force the Rams first punt of the contest. He followed it up with an interception of quarterback Matthew Stafford on the next LA possession, and then, a third down sack by All-Pro linebacker Fred Warner on the next drive really stalled up the Rams defense. Quarterback Brock Purdy, wide receiver Deebo Samuel and company took advantage of their extra time on the field, putting up points via two field goals and a rushing touchdown. Cornerback Deommodore Lenoir's fourth quarter pick sealed the game for the red and gold.
Let's take a look at what national outlets had to say about the 49ers headed into Week 3:
Lead Draft Writer Eric Edholm
"Beating the Rams was a gut-check win in a lot of ways, even if a few big missed connections could have made it a larger margin of victory. Some will hone in on the Brock Purdy overthrows, but he came through with the touchdown drive before halftime and delivered some big throws on the fourth-quarter TD march. I'm not worried about him. But the health of the secondary is getting a little scary. The Niners were paper-thin by game's end, but credit goes to Isaiah Oliver, who was thrust into a major role because of injuries, and Deommodore Lenoir, who left the game for a bit before making a pick late. Both came up huge. In lieu of style points, San Francisco won with resolve, keeping Kyle Shanahan's bunch at No. 1."
NFL Writer Nick Wagoner
"The Niners picked up Aiyuk's fifth-year option in May. The only first-round pick the Niners have signed to a second contract in the Kyle Shanahan/John Lynch era (since 2017) is defensive end Nick Bosa, waiting until after his fourth season to do it. The Niners would like to make Aiyuk the second. The question is whether they can afford to keep both Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel long term. Much of that will depend on whether Aiyuk can build off last year's breakthrough season, in which he surpassed 1,000 receiving yards for the first time and led the team in receptions (78) while finishing second in touchdowns (eight). If he can, the cost to retain him will only increase."
NFL Writer Pete Prisco
"It wasn't easy against the Rams, but they found a way. The defense has to tighten up a bit going forward, but they are the best team right now."