The Rams’ quick-strike offense didn’t strike quickly on their first drive Monday night. A miscommunication between quarterback Matthew Stafford and new receiver Odell Beckham resulted in an interception by safety Jimmie Ward, who was questionable to play.
Ward had a pick-six on the Rams’ second possession, returning Stafford’s pass intended for Tyler Higbee 27 yards for a touchdown. The pass went through Higbee’s hands.
The 49ers entered the game with only two interceptions this season.
The Rams have had the ball for eight plays and gained 31 yards with 49 seconds left in the first quarter. Stafford is 4-of-7 for 21 yards and two interceptions.
Stafford threw one pick-six last week against the Titans and nearly another. Kevin Byard returned his pick 24 yards for a touchdown and David Long Jr. had another he took back 6 yards to the 2-yard line to set up an easy touchdown for the Titans.
The 49ers had one possession in the first quarter. They took over at their own 7 after Ward’s first pick and showed their game plan — bleed the clock with a physical running game. It worked.
San Francisco went 93 yards in 18 plays, eating 11:03 off the clock.
Tight end George Kittle scored on an 8-yard touchdown pass from Jimmy Garoppolo on third down. Garoppolo was 5-for-5 for 38 yards, with Kittle catching three for 33 yards.
Four players had rushes in the drive: Deebo Samuel picked up 24 yards on three carries; Jeff Wilson had 15 yards on three carries; Elijah Mitchell had six carries for 9 yards; and Garoppolo picked up a first down on a 2-yard quarterback sneak on third down.