Skip to main content

49ers aim to continue regular-season dominance of Rams

Sep 10, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13) throws the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second half at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams look for their first regular-season win against San Francisco since 2018 when they host the 49ers on Sunday.

The NFC West rivals were both victorious on the road in Week 1, with the 49ers (1-0) winning 30-7 at Pittsburgh and the Rams (1-0) earning a 30-13 victory at Seattle.

The Niners have swept the last eight meetings with the Rams in the regular season and head to Inglewood, Calif., with a quarterback who has yet to lose in the regular season.

Brock Purdy completed 19 of 29 passes for 220 yards and two touchdowns, both to Brandon Aiyuk, during a wire-to-wire win against the Steelers last Sunday. Purdy, showing no ill effects from offseason elbow surgery, improved to 6-0 as a starter in the regular season in his brief career.

“Purdy shut some haters up,” 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa said, per ESPN. “I think whenever a guy comes back from an injury, people kind of don’t expect him to make another leap in the second year. I’m just happy for him. He’s exactly who we thought he was.”

Purdy has thrown at least two touchdown passes in all six career starts.

“He’s a stud,” Rams coach Sean McVay said on his radio show Tuesday. “Really great ownership and understanding. … I think he plays fast, he’s able to process things, he can make quick decisions and he delivers the ball with accuracy and anticipation. It’s a scary combination with the guys that they have.”

The Rams’ only win against the 49ers since 2018 came in the NFC Championship Game on Jan. 30, 2022, before their triumph in Super Bowl LVI.

The Rams haven’t seen Purdy yet, but they did get an eyeful of Christian McCaffrey in last year’s 31-14 loss at SoFi Stadium in Week 8. Making his first start for San Francisco after a trade with Carolina, McCaffrey had 149 yards from scrimmage with one rushing and receiving touchdown.

McCaffrey opened his first full season with the Niners by rushing for 152 yards and a touchdown (a 65-yard run) on 22 carries. He added three catches for 17 yards.

Defensively for San Francisco, Drake Jackson tied his 2022 season total with three sacks against Kenny Pickett and the 49ers held Pittsburgh to 239 total yards (41 rushing). Talanoa Hufanga and Charvarius Ward each had an interception.

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford is 2-7 in his career against the 49ers, including the playoffs and his time with the Detroit Lions. He kicked off his 15th season with 334 yards through the air against the Seahawks last Sunday.

With top target Cooper Kupp on injured reserve, rookie Puka Nacua and third-year wideout Tutu Atwell each had 119 receiving yards and Kyren Williams rushed for two touchdowns against Seattle. The Los Angeles defense limited the Seahawks to 180 yards and less than 21 minutes of possession.

“We expected this,” Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald said, per the East Bay Times. “Obviously, the world didn’t know, but this is what we’ve been seeing at camp — guys flying around, guys making plays, and we just translated that to the game. So we ain’t shocked. We ain’t surprised. The world might be, but we expected this.”

–Field Level Media