Deebo Samuel, Nick Bosa spark 49ers’ rebound win over Rams

Wide receiver Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Wide receiver Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

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The 49ers desperately needed a win over the Rams on Monday Night Football, and big performances by Deebo Samuel and Nick Bosa helped that.

There was a lot on the line for the San Francisco 49ers heading into their Week 4 matchup against the visiting Los Angeles Rams on Monday Night Football.

Win, and the Niners’ newfound 2-2 record would put them into first place within the NFC West, given they would have two divisional wins already.

Lose, and San Francisco would drop to 1-3 and be in the division’s basement.

While Monday’s contest wasn’t quite as dominant as the 49ers’ 31-10 bounce-back game a season ago, it was nevertheless impressive enough, as head coach Kyle Shanahan’s squad improved to having seven wins in its last eight contests against LA, the only blemish being what happened in the NFC Championship game last February.

At least Monday night provided a proper vengeance matchup.

The Niners got back to .500 after their 24-9 win over their Southern California rivals, and the San Francisco defense once again proved it belongs in the elite category a quarter of the way through the regular season.

And Pro Bowl EDGE Nick Bosa had a lot to say about that.

Nick Bosa headlines 49ers’ defensive masterpiece vs. Rams

Both the 49ers and Rams were dealing with banged-up offensive lines, and both teams lost offensive linemen during the game, too.

With defensive threats like Bosa and Los Angeles’ Aaron Donald looming, it was the Niners who managed to make the most of the matchups.

Bosa, in particular, was a pocket-wrecking force, notching two sacks on the night, including a “hustle” sack on Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford, the pass-rusher’s second of the game.

But it was Bosa’s first that was impressive, the edge rusher moving from the edge to the inside and finding himself unblocked:

The Niners had four sacks in the first half alone, finishing with seven total, and fellow EDGE Samson Ebukam enjoyed two against his former team, too, also icing the game with the strip-sack forced fumble at the end of the game.

To help cap things off, second-year safety Talanoa Hufanga continued his impressive sophomore season with a back-breaking pick-six interception on Stafford, who tossed his sixth interception on that particular play:

All told, San Francisco’s defense again looked the part, holding Los Angeles to just 257 yards and mostly containing All-Pro wide receiver Cooper Kupp, whose 122 receiving yards weren’t a deal-breaking factor.

And this should answer any questions about whether or not the 49ers defense is classified as “elite” after not having faced top-end offensive competition in the three weeks prior to Monday night.

Deebo Samuel finally sparks 49ers offense vs. Rams

The Niners needed one of their star players to take over the game on Monday night.

Bosa did his job on the defensive side of the ball, but it was All-Pro wide receiver Deebo Samuel who helped turn the momentum in San Francisco’s favor after recording one of the most impressive touchdowns seen across the league this season:

That 57-yard catch-and-run grab for a score put the 49ers up 14-6 in the second half, and that certainly set the tone in favor of the Niners.

Then, early in the fourth quarter, facing 3rd-and-long, Samuel took a quick pass from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and managed to turn it into a 29-yard pickup for a first down. Unfortunately, the drive stalled and netted zero points with kicker Robbie Gould missing a rare field goal.

Garoppolo, coming off an ugly performance in the Week 3 loss to the Denver Broncos, also managed to rebound.

While he might have been far from electrifying, Garoppolo nevertheless finished by going 16-of-27 for 239 yards with a touchdown against no interceptions, all for a passer rating of 100.7 and even rushing 3 yards for a crucial first down.

As a whole, San Francisco’s offense managed to get right itself, putting up 327 total yards against a still-good Los Angeles defense.

But, more importantly, the 49ers got back into the win column and managed to notch what could be yet another key win against an NFC West opponent in what could be a neck-and-neck race for the division title.

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