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7 Takeaways: Rams 41 - 49ers 39 in Week 3

Posted Sep 21, 2017

The 49ers dropped to 0-3 on the season after a primetime loss to the Rams on "Thursday Night Football".



The San Francisco 49ers fell to 0-3 on the season following a 41-39 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on "Thursday Night Football". San Francisco nearly overcame a nightmare start, but the comeback fell just short.

The 49ers scored a potential game-tying touchdown on Carlos Hyde's second score of the night. That made it 41-39 (since Robbie Gould missed a PAT earlier in the game). The two-point conversion attempt failed, but San Francisco recovered its ensuing onside kick to get another chance. A shotty offensive pass interference call against Trent Taylor erased a first down and cost the 49ers 10 yards. Aaron Donald ultimately sacked Brian Hoyer on fourth down to seal a Rams win.

Here are the top takeaways from Week 3. (Let's be honest, where do you even begin after a game like that?)

1. Hoyer gifted the Rams seven points out of the gates with an interception on the first play from scrimmage. The quarterback made a poor decision with a short throw to the right flat that was easily picked by Nickell Robey-Coleman. Robey-Coleman returned it to the 49ers 3-yard line. Todd Gurley punched it in from there.

But Hoyer would respond, especially in the second half. Hoyer completed a 50-yard pass to Marquise Goodwin and a 59-yard pass to Pierre Garçon. He threw two touchdown passes, one to Garrett Celek and one to Taylor. It was Taylor's first-career touchdown catch.

In all, Hoyer completed 23-of-37 passes for 332 yards, two touchdowns and the one interception. Hoyer also scored the 49ers first touchdown of the season on a 9-yard run. Garçon led 49ers receivers with seven receptions for 142 yards. Hyde ran the ball 25 times for 84 yards and two touchdowns.

2. The play of the game was the two-point try with the 49ers down, 41-39. Hoyer's pass was intended for Taylor but was tipped and intercepted. Kyle Shanahan said postgame that Garçon was the first read and Goodwin was the second read but both players were covered.

3. San Francisco's defense struggled to contain the Rams offense all game. Los Angeles dominated on third down, converting on 8-of-12 attempts. Jared Goff was sensational throughout the night, finishing with a stat line of 292 yards on 22-of-28 passing and three touchdowns. He clearly showed that he's a far better player than he was as a rookie. Gurley ran the ball 28 times for 113 yards and added five receptions for 36 yards. The Rams star running back also scored three touchdowns and now has six on the young season. Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins each had 100 yards receiving at 108 yards and 106 yards, respectively.

The biggest problem for the 49ers defense was its inability to generate a pass rush. San Francisco had zero sacks and very few quarterback pressures.

4. There were several injuries in this game. The 49ers lost Tank Carradine to an ankle injury and Jaquiski Tartt, Brock Coyle and Kyle Juszczyk to concussions.

5. Special teams played a huge role in this game, both good and bad. The 49ers recovered a muffed punt, a fumble on a kickoff and an onside kick. All three plays kept San Francisco's hopes alive. Unfortunately, Gould's missed PAT loomed large. Had he made the try, the 49ers wouldn't have had to go for two on their final touchdown.

6. The refs were, unfortunately, a huge storyline throughout. Most notably, the officials impacted the end of the game. On San Francisco's final touchdown drive, Garrett Celek got assaulted in the end zone but didn't get the call. The non-call forced the 49ers to use a valuable timeout. Then on the last possession of the game, Taylor got flagged for a very suspect offensive pass interference penalty. The play would have resulted in a 49ers first down near field-goal range.

7. Here are some notable stats. The 49ers put up 421 total yards, held the ball for 30:17, had 25 first downs and converted 9-of-18 third-down attempts. Two turnovers, Hoyer's interception and a Raheem Mostert fumble were costly.