The Thursday Night Football matchup that everyone thought was going to be a snooze, was a down to the wire thriller.
The way the game started, it looked like the Rams were going to cruise to another blowout victory, capitalizing on turnovers as they did in a 46-9 win over the Colts to open the season. Shaking off a first-play interception, Brian Hoyer grew more efficient as the game went on, leading four second-half touchdown drives and connecting with his underrated playmakers on tosses short and long.
Earlier this week, Rams quarterback Jared Goff was asked a question that referenced his rookie season and said that he was done talking about 2016 because "last year was a whole different deal". It set up Gurley's first score, coming on the Rams' first snap, and forced the 49ers to play catch up for the entire game.
The Rams gave up 229 yards last week against the Redskins.
San Francisco did indeed score on another goaline run by Hyde, but were unable to tie the game as the two-point conversion was intercepted by defensive lineman Michael Brokers.
Watkins' 13-yard touchdown reception and the ensuing extra point made it 41-26 with less than nine minutes remaining, but Trent Taylor caught a touchdown and Hyde scored his second touchdown-both of which came on fourth-down runs-to pull the 49ers within two just before the two-minute warning.
Scoring 17 points might be enough for the Rams to win by at least a field goal in their only primetime game of the season.
As expected, the Rams activated Aaron Donald from the exempt list before last week's game against Washington.
Gurley had 28 carries for 113 rushing yards and two touchdowns. He found the end zone three times, but Goff was almost flawless. This year, McVay has made Gurley a centerpiece of the Rams offense, utilizing his skills as both a runner and a pass-catcher, which has been good for both Gurley and Goff. As the season goes on, there will be more games where the 49ers could go down.
The Rams traded for Sammy Watkins, in theory, to get Jared Goff a bona fide, No. 1, go-to wide receiver. Gurley failed collect a receiving touchdown in his first two seasons under Jeff Fisher. He also rushed for another touchdown and scored on a pass play in the first three-touchdown performance of his National Football League career.
"I was 7 years old in Pop Warner and I had to pick my jersey number and it was either 12 or 16", Goff said. "It was exciting. It was fun".
If the 49ers lose to the Rams on Thursday night, they will not play at home again until October 22.
Rams fans now see why general manager Les Snead traded for Watkins during training camp. Throughout the previous campaign, they had only two games with 40 or more points. But for now Goff is obviously more comfortable throwing to rookie Cooper Kupp (seven receptions on 12 targets for 109 yards and a touchdown).
The 49ers later took possession with 6:35 left, and immediately were in scoring position thanks to a 59-yard hookup between Hoyer and Garcon.