What We Learned from 49ers vs. Rams

Select images from the 49ers Week 8 matchup with the Rams in St. Louis.

The San Francisco 49ers fell to 2-6 with a 27-6 loss to the St. Louis Rams in Week 8 of the NFL season.

The 49ers scored the first points of the game, but it was St. Louis who took a 20-6 lead into halftime.

St. Louis never let up, shutting out San Francisco in the second half. The Rams improved to 4-3 and have now won two games in a row.

Here are the biggest takeaways from the game. Todd Gurley's Big Run Hurts 49ers

The stats have been impressive for Gurley and the production continued in his first meeting with the 49ers. The rookie's 20 carries for 133 yards give him four consecutive 100-yard rushing performances.

San Francisco held Gurley in check in the first quarter, holding the talented runner to just 16 yards. Gurley then broke out in the second quarter on a 71-yard touchdown run.

Gurley also turned in three catches for 13 yards to give him 136 total yards on the afternoon.

If not for the 71-yard run, the 49ers mostly kept Gurley in check to tune of 19 carries for 62 rushing yards. The long score, however, will be a topic of discussion for San Francisco's defense. It wasn't the longest rushing score surrendered by Eric Mangini's defense this season.

Dawson is Timeless

The 49ers kicker opened the scoring on the team's first offensive possession. After the drive stalled at the Rams 36-yard line, Phil Dawson lined up to attempt a 54-yard field goal.

The 17-year veteran drilled the kick between the uprights, making his longest make of the season. The kicker later added another field goal from 26-yards out, accounting for all six of the team's first-half points.

Dawson is now 13-14 on field-goal attempts for the season. His one miss came when the Minnesota Vikings blocked his first attempt of the season in Week 1.

When Bradley Pinion suffered a calf injury in the fourth quarter, Dawson came into the game and connected on a 48-yard punt.

It was Dawson's ninth career punt in his 17-year career.

49ers Rookies Team, Force Turnover

In the first quarter, the 49ers recovered their first fumble of the season. On a 20-yard pass to Tavon Austin, Jaquiski Tartt was able to knock the ball free. Fellow rookie Eli Harold recovered the loose ball and returned it eight yards to give the 49ers possession.

The play was reviewed and the call on the field was confirmed. The takeaway comes in Tartt's first start of the season as he fills in for Antoine Bethea.

Both Teams Experience Third-down and Penalty Woes

Both teams struggled on third down in St. Louis. The 49ers converted just 3-of-17 attempts while the Rams went 1-of-12 on third down.

Penalties were a major contributor to that. There were 25 combined accepted penalties in the game with San Francisco accounting for 13 and St. Louis accounting for 12.

Simpson Makes 49ers Debut

With Anquan Boldin (hamstring) inactive, Jerome Simpson made his debut in a San Francisco uniform. In his first regular-season action since 2013, Simpson led 49ers receivers with three catches for 34 yards on a team-high 10 targets. Simpson's status going forward will be worth monitoring. Once Boldin is healthy, the coaches will have a deeper group of receivers going forward.

Niners Notes

  • Reggie Bush hurt his knee on a punt return in the first half and did not return. Bush has missed three games this season due to a calf strain. The running back didn't carry the ball and was targeted on one pass play before getting hurt.
  • Mike Davis hurt his hand in the third quarter, leaving Kendall Gaskins as the only healthy running back on the roster. Gaskins was called up on Saturday from the team's practice squad.
  • Other injuries: Keith Reaser left the game with an ankle injury. Garrett Celek left the game with a head injury. L.J. McCray left the game with a knee injury.
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