No. 1: The defense looks every bit the best in the NFL
Everything you need to know about the defense played can be seen in every reaction given by defensive coordinator Robert Saleh all throughout the game.
He had some hilarious celebrations, which ordinarily I would post. However there’s about three of them which would clutter this up somewhat so you can find here instead.
Oh what the hey, here’s one anyway:
A week after making a former No. 1 pick look like a scared rookie, the 49ers put together a performance against another former No. 1 pick. It was a sequel that might be better than the original.
Rams quarterback Jared Goff looked completely lost out on the field. He was just 13-of-24 passing for a career-low 78 yards and no touchdowns. He was also stripped of the ball by EDGE Dee Ford, but the Rams recovered that. The defense did recover another fumble, however, after a dropped pitch was eagerly jumped on. It was the last time the 49ers and Rams would play on level terms.
The 49ers would have four sacks for the day and hold the Rams to a staggering 0-of-13 on combined third and fourth downs. The defense looks exactly as advertised when the 49ers invested significant resources into the defensive line.
One particular drive, which ended in a goal-line stand and the above reaction from Saleh, completely turned the tide of the game.
The Rams were more successful in establishing the run, and in fact their touchdown drive to begin their day offensively was completely made up of rush attempts, but they were unwilling or unable to test the 49ers defense.
Here’s Niners Nation’s Rob Lowder to put this game in perspective:
Fortunately the 49ers put quick points on the board in the second half and the Rams had to abandon the running game.
In short, the defense looked like they got in the heads of the Rams early. There were many situations where the Rams needed yardage for a first down and would either run or throw a quick screen to avoid the 49ers swarming them.
When the Rams had to dig in and try to throw further down the field, the 49ers gave them no time.
Now, can we put a microphone and camera on Saleh permanently, please?