The Los Angeles Rams were looking to send their division rivals to a third consecutive loss on “Sunday Night Football’ Week 6. The defending conference champion San Francisco 49ers had other ideas.
Jimmy Garoppolo played exceedingly well in the first half, helping the 49ers to a 21-6 halftime lead over the Rams. While San Francisco’s offense struggled in the second half, its defense contained Jared Goff and the Rams’ offense throughout the evening.
The end result was a huge 24-16 win for the 49ers over the Rams. Here are the biggest winners and losers from this game.
Winner: Jimmy Garoppolo rebounds in a big way
One week after being benched at halftime in a blowout loss to the Dolphins, Garoppolo seemed to be feeling it big time Sunday evening. That included connecting on all four of his passes in the 49ers’ game-opening touchdown scoring drive. When all was said and done at Levi’s Stadium, the much-maligned signal caller completed 23-of-33 passes for 268 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions.
It was clear last week that Garoppolo’s wasn’t 100% recovered from the high-ankle sprain he suffered back in Week 2. And while he was a bit hobbled in San Francisco’s Week 6 win, the Super Bowl quarterback looked much more healthy in the victory over the Rams. This is no small thing given the 49ers’ daunting schedule over the next six games.
Loser: Cooper Kupp struggles connecting with Jared Goff’
Whether it was turning around the wrong way on a deep pass or dropping a would-be touchdown late in the third quarter, Kupp just was not up to snuff for the Rams Sunday evening. The recently-extended receiver hauled in all of 3-of-9 targets for 11 yards in one of his worst performances of his career.
The Rams moved on from the likes of Todd Gurley and Brandin Cooks this past offseason. They did so with the expectation that other skill-position players would step up, Kupp included. In no way did that come to fruition during a horrible showing Sunday evening.
Winner: 49ers offensive line plays extremely well
After seeing their quarterbacks sacked a combined 10 times over the past two games, the 49ers’ coaching staff made some major adjustments. That included quick passes and doubling up on blocking assignments when it came to Defensive Player of the Year favorite Aaron Donald. That helped the 49ers contain the Rams’ edge pass rush ability, too.
The end result was tremendous. Garoppolo was not sacked a single time in the 24-16 win. He was also hit a total of three times. Talk about a clean pocket for the injured quarterback. If the 49ers are to rebound from early-season struggles, it’s going to start along the offensive line. That’s what we saw Sunday night.
Loser: Jared Goff has disastrous performance
Historically, Goff has struggled going up against the division-rival 49ers. Last season alone, he threw just two touchdowns in as many starts. The first of those two games also included Goff throwing for a mere 78 yards in a Week 6 loss. Even with the 49ers’ secondary banged up Sunday night, Goff could not get anything going for the Rams.
The much-maligned quarterback completed 19-of-38 passes for 198 yards with two touchdowns and a horrible red-zone interception. Los Angeles does not have the talent to overcome struggles like this against a top-end team. It came back to haunt the squad big time Sunday night.
Winner: Jason Verrett’s return to stardom
This is such a tremendous story to watch unfold in Northern California. A former first-round pick of the then-San Diego Chargers back in 2014, Verrett was once one of the better cover guys in the NFL. In fact, he earned a Pro Bowl trip as a sophomore. Unfortunately, injuries have ravaged a once-promising career. Heading into Sunday night’s outing, Verrett had suited up in a combined eight games since the end of the 2015 campaign.
Now seemingly fully health, the corner made a major impact with Richard Sherman still sidelined to injury. That included a beautiful red-zone interception of Jared Goff in the second half. All said, Verrett allowed less than half the passes thrown in his direction to be completed. This could very well loom large for the 49ers with Sherman set to return at some point soon.