The San Francisco 49ers opened the Chip Kelly era with a 28-0 victory over the Los Angeles Rams on "Monday Night Football."
Go inside the locker room and press conference areas to find out what the 49ers and Rams said after Week 1. Read up on the most telling quotes of the night, courtesy of the 49ers communications department.
49ers coach Chip Kelly
Was that about as much as you could expect from your season opener?* "Yeah, I mean, obviously for the first game of the year there's a lot of things you're not sure of going into it. But, I think the most telling statistic for us that you're really proud of going into the first game is that you have two penalties for 10-yards. One of them was mine because I screwed them up with the formation and the other one - our guys thought they jumped so they tried to touch them. So, to play that type of disciplined football, I thought was big. We also had created two turnovers and not only did we create two turnovers, we talk about response after the turnovers and to turn those two turnovers into 14 points was really big for us too. It's a good day overall. There's a lot of things we need to do better and that we need to build on, but it's a lot easier when you win than when you lose to make those corrections."* **
The Rams D-line is seen as one of the best in the game, they didn't have a ton of plays with big impact. What was the key in neutralizing them?
"Well, I thought our offensive line did a nice job and again we knew going in that that was one of the better D-Lines in the NFL. [DT] Aaron Donald is probably the best inside defensive lineman in this league and we thought that was going to be a huge deal for us and I'll give our guys credit for sustaining. There were some times there in the third quarter where they made some plays and split some gaps on us. We had some negative yardage plays, but I thought the coaching staff did a really good job of making adjustments and then turning that into 14 more points for us. For the first game against that front, until I see the film I would say I was pleased with how the O-line played."
49ers defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil
Was the plan to stop Gurley and make somebody else beat you?"Yes. I think that anytime that you go against a back that is that dynamic, you have to start there. If you can't stop the run in this league, you struggle to stop anything. The guys up front did a great job. We played good team defense and guys executed."
You mentioned being entirely un-scouted for the most part entering Week 1. What are the challenges that face you now that teams have film on you as a sample of what to look at?
"We have more. We still have more. We didn't unload every bullet that was in the chamber tonight."
49ers QB Blaine Gabbert
What was your biggest takeaway from the game?**
"The biggest thing I took away from the game is we were 4-for-4 in the red zone. We got the victory and we're going on to play Carolina. We're going to film here today and see what we need to work on. There were some ups and downs throughout the game but the biggest thing is we kept fighting, kept chipping away and got the W. That's all that matters in this league."
Without obviously having a chance to study the film, how do you feel you played?
"Yeah, I've got to watch the tape. Solid there in the first half. Started slow there in the third quarter but finished there strong with the two touchdown drives and that's what you look for. When we got things rolling, when we were executing at a high level, we just kind of got to find ways that we can get started faster there in the third quarter. That's always a challenge that you have as an offense. How do you start faster or how do you get those long, extended drives right off the jump? We'll watch the film, evaluate it and just get better from it."
49ers S Antoine Bethea
What was the key to stopping Gurley?
"In my time being in the league, you always want to keep a team one dimensional. When they have you on the ropes and they're running and passing, it's tough as a defensive coordinator to call plays. My goal coming into the game was to stop Gurley and we did a great job of that. When they went back to pass we were able to get pressure on them."
How does a win like this in such dominating fashion set up the next few weeks to come?
"It sets the tone for us, but at the end of the day we're going on the road next week to a good team. It definitely sets the tone. We definitely have some things we can correct. Last year we came out, had a great showing the first game and laid an egg the second game. I think that mindset is much different."
49ers LB NaVorro Bowman
At what point did you guys start talking about shutout? Did you go into this game thinking that was a realistic possibility or did that dawn on you in the second half?**
"Not at all. We went out expecting the Rams to play better than they did, expecting the Rams to get the ball in their playmaker's hands, and the coaches did a great job with preparing us for this week with alert in certain formations and certain plays that they like to do out of different personnel. We just ran around to the ball. We did everything that we were supposed to do."
First impression of defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil's game plan and the execution of the game plan?
"Well, I've played the Rams twice every year my whole career. So, his installation was dead on. He was definitely keyed in on what they like to do. So, he did a great job with just letting us know what to look for and things like that. We all work together. I think that's the best thing that happened today."
49ers RB Pierre Garçon**
Can you walk us through that first touchdown? It seemed like you hesitated and then the seas parted for you to run through?**
"On that play, all week in practice, the big emphasis on that play was to be patient. And, you also have to be patient because you have two blockers, you have two pullers coming around. So, you have to wait for your second puller to come around to figure out what he's going to do, if he's going to go up inside or outside. So, just being patient. I actually thought the run was going to go outside and I just saw it split apart like the Red Sea, and my eyes got big and I got rolling. "
How much did the negativity in the offseason actually help to bring this team together because you guys came out with such energy tonight early?
"We didn't really pay attention to the negativity at all. We just have been focused as a group. People count us out every game. People counted us out before the season even started. So, we just stay together as a group. We go out here and we work together just like a brotherhood. It's us against the world. So, we just keep that mindset."
49ers WR Jeremy Kerley
It has to feel good to come in from day one and be the starting slot guy and returner?"Yes. It feels good. It is a good opportunity not just for me, but for this team with having this type of offense that we have. It gives us the ability to do a lot of things. We have a lot of mismatches and we are able to wear a defense down. For me to walk into this is ideal for me."
Can you take us through that fourth down play?
"To tell you the truth, I don't even remember it. I just remember that I was supposed to get over the top of the defender and he was kind of playing high, they sent a blitz or something. So my time clock kind of went off and I just turned around and caught the ball."
Rams coach Jeff Fisher
View images from the 49ers season opener against the Los Angeles Rams.
"Well, that wasn't what we expected, certainly not what I expected for our first game. Back in LA we've got some work to do, obviously, very disappointed in the outcome. I thought the 49ers did a nice job in all three phases. They're well coached and we didn't get things done. And you know as I told the players, there's 15 other teams obviously that lost this weekend. Some of them are pretty good. I happen to think these guys in this locker room are pretty good. So, we have a short week and that's good and bad, but we have to get this thing corrected and get on with things. So, you know obviously disappointed in the lack of offensive production. It's third down efficiency, scoring and the run game was not there tonight. I'll credit their defense, but those things were problematic for us last year. I believe we would improve in those areas, but we just didn't show up when we had to show up. I was a little disappointed in the defense. Although with the defense we made adjustments at half-time, settled down, got numerous back-to-back three and outs, and that gave us an opportunity to get some starts, you know, get some drive starts offensively, but we just couldn't get the blitz. Came through healthy and you know, we'll go home and get ready for Seattle. Questions?"
What were the biggest, besides third downs, offensively, that troubled you? Was it just the fact that you couldn't get the running game going?
"Well, it was the run game, yeah. I mean the line of scrimmage was loaded up and you know, they're well coached and we couldn't get it going. And when we can't get a run game going you know, nothing else falls after that. So, that was a concern, but you know we had numerous third and fourth and sixes in this game, and we just couldn't get it, we couldn't keep drives alive or make plays for that matter. I mean, we flashed a little bit early, but you got to make big plays down the field. You know, coming into the game [San Francisco 49ers] Blaine [Gabbert] was a concern of mine, just his legs. You know, he obviously shows what he can do. He can pull it down and run and break your back. You know we lost, it's not an excuse."
Rams QB Case Keenum
Could you give us your thoughts on what early on was a stumbling block for the offense and why you guys could not get on track?**
"I mean, I'd have to look at it drive by drive, but it's the little things. That's what's frustrating is that, little thing here, little thing there. Obviously third downs, I haven't seen the stats or anything, but we've got to stay on the field. Whatever it is that's causing it, we have to go look at the film. It's frustrating because that's not us. We're good on third down and we work hard on third down. I think we put a lot of pressure on our defense."
How tough was it to get the ball down the field? It looked like a lot of the routes timing-wise you guys were going more horizontal than vertical.
"They did a good job of mixing it up. San Francisco did with coverage over the top and mixing it up with the single I. You have to give them a lot of credit. They did a really good job especially on third down. A lot of looks that we haven't seen before, but it's not an excuse though. We still have to convert. There were some chances to convert, and it's tough."
Rams WR Tavon Austin
Was it embarrassing the way your teammates were losing their cool?
"We definitely were caught slipping today. We'll get it corrected. It's the first game. Everybody is going to see what they see. We'll be back. We'll go back to work this week and we'll come out different next week."
This had to be a shock to your system to play the way that this team played after all the high hopes and expectations.
"That's how it goes. At the end of the day it will only make us better. Everybody can say what they want about us. At the end of the day, we will be OK. We're going to go back to work this week and I guarantee we won't look like this again."
Rams DT Aaron Donald
That was so uncharacteristic of you—not only to lose your cool but to get kicked out of the game like that.**
"I just let emotions get the best of me. There's no excuses. I can't make mistakes like that and hurt my team."
Is this team embarrassed?
"Anytime you lose like that you're going to be embarrassed. That's not the way we play and that wasn't our best football. We know that. We know we have to go back to the drawing board and fix things. We have to play a lot harder."
Rams RB Todd Gurley
What's the feeling of the guys after performing this way?
"It's embarrassing for us to go out there and not put any points on the board. It's a long season.
Do you still have confidence in QB Case Keenum as your starter?
"Oh yeah, for sure. Like I said, it's a long season. If you look at last year, they [49ers] played Monday night against the Vikings. They beat the Vikings pretty bad and the Vikings went on to the playoffs. You got to shake this game off. It's a long season. We still have 15 games to go."
Rams LB Alec Ogletree**
Anyone who knows anything about you knows you are a realist. Was that like a nightmare what you just went through?**
"No it was not a nightmare. It was more so that we beat ourselves tonight. Credit them they did what they had to do to win the game. I definitely feel like we beat ourselves tonight. We did not play our style of football. We will bounce back. Nobody is down on each other. It definitely sucks to lose, but it is week one. We have a long season now we have a tough opponent coming in next week. We have to definitely turn our attention there."
Does it make it even more frustrating because of high anticipations of this club?
"It is frustrating for us to lose period. When it is a division opponent you want to win. Like I said it is week one, you can't let one game define your whole season."Rams DE Robert QuinnHow do you describe the frustration of tonight as the last thing expected?
"We thought we had a great game plan this week. We definitely don't expect to lose a game 28-0. The 49ers worked hard also. It was tough for us. They just got the upper hand and made plays. We didn't. Hats off to them. They put a pretty good beating on us tonight, so we have to go to work."
All this week you were telling us that you were going to play man up and you have to do your jobs. Did they show you something in San Francisco 49ers head coach Chip Kelly's offense that you didn't expect?
"Early in the game they caught me off guard. I didn't realize how fast things were going to hit. I think after that I took care of my responsibilities. They made plays when they needed to, running and passing the ball. We didn't, so that is why the score was what it was."