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Rams shut out by 49ers; here’s how the game played out

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The Rams opened their first NFL season in Los Angeles since 1994 with a 28-0 loss to the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium on Monday night.

49ers run by Rams, 28-0, in season opener

49ers receiver Quinton Patton eludes the tackle of Rams defenders Maurice Alexander, left, and Coty Sensabaugh for a huge gain in the fourth quarter.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

It didn’t look much different than the last time the Rams called Los Angeles home.

It bore a striking resemblance to the way they played for much of the last 13 years in St. Louis, too.

The season opener against the San Francisco 49ers on “Monday Night Football” was supposed to be the Rams’ national coming-out party.

Instead, it served as an ugly reminder that regardless of location, this is a team still many moves away from becoming a contender.

The Rams’ 28-0 loss at Levi’s Stadium featured inconsistent quarterback play and an offense that could not score or convert third downs. Those are the same characteristics that plagued the Rams last season when they finished 7-9 with NFL’s worst offense and worst passing offense.

And a defense attempting to make up for the losses of a key cornerback and safety to free agency struggled against 49ers quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who had been pedestrian in his first five NFL seasons.

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Colin Kaepernick booed when taking the field

49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick entered the game with 2:21 remaining in the game. The home field crowd at Levi’s Stadium voiced its displeasure with Kaepernick.

Kaepernick was booed loudly before the crowd began chanting “USA! USA! USA!”

In total, Kaepernick’s on-the-field efforts amounted to handing the ball off three times to running back Mike Davis as the 49ers ran the clock out to collect a season-opening 28-0 win.

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Rams turn the ball over on downs in most promising drive

The Rams drove down inside the 49ers 30-yard line, but ultimately turned the ball over on downs. Case Keenum’s attempts to scramble on fourth-and-10 fell five yards short of the first down marker.

Keenum had back-to-back 15-yard completions to move the team to the 24-yard line, but the drive stalled behind three consecutive incompletions setting up the fourth down.

Rather than attempting a field goal for the team’s first points as the Los Angeles Rams in more than 21 years, Coach Jeff Fisher kept his offense on the field and they failed.

The drive spanned 10 plays, accumulating 53 yards.

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49ers lead Rams, 28-0, in the fourth quarter

Carlos Hyde rushed for one yard and another 49ers touchdown. The 49ers lead the Rams, 28-0, in the fourth quarter.

The scoring drive covered 80 yards in 11 plays and took 5:51 off the clock.

An ugly game has turned even worse for the Rams.

Alec Ogletree kicked, perhaps inadvertently, Blaine Gabbert’s head. Then, as both teams circled, Aaron Donald grabbed Quinton Patton by the neck. Donald was ejected from the game for picking up his second personal foul. He slammed his helmet to the turf as he walked off the field.

It was an ugly scene.

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Sean Mannion warms up, but Case Keenum returns

An apparent 49ers fan ran onto the field and sprinted for about 100 yards while the Rams were on offense. It was the most exciting play of the night.

Sean Mannion warmed up on the sideline but Case Keenum returned to the game.

Keenum completed a six-yard pass to Lance Kendricks between two incomplete passes to Tavon Austin.

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49ers lead Rams, 21-0, in the fourth quarter

Blaine Gabbert completed an eight-yard pass to Vance McDonald to convert a turnover into a touchdown, and the 49ers lead the Rams, 21-0, in the fourth quarter.

The scoring drive covered 77 yards in 10 plays and took 3:55 off the clock.

After three solid series of defense, the Rams’ secondary looked confused. Gabbert completed 13-yard, 17-yard and 35-yard passes in the series.

Just when it looked like the Rams might put some points on the board, Ray-Ray Armstrong intercepted a Case Keenum pass at the 49ers 18-yard line.

Keenum is 12 of 24 for 81 yards with two interceptions.

Before the interception, the Rams converted on third down for just the second time in 12 attempts.

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LA Rams season opener in photos

49ers quarterback Blaine Gabbert leaps for a 1st down over Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson in the 2nd quarter.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

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T.J. McDonald steps up for Rams’ defense

The Rams’ defense forced its third three and out of the second half.

Carlos Hyde rushed for four yards before T.J. McDonald tackled him for a two-yard loss.

Blaine Gabbert’s third-down pass fell incomplete.

Tavon Austin fielded the punt and returned it 28 yards to put the Rams in 49ers’ territory. Maybe they can make it a game.

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A penalty holds the Rams back this time

Todd Gurley rushed for 10 yards in the first play of the series before the Rams stalled.

Tavon Austin caught a pass for no gain, Gurley rushed for two yards and the Rams almost converted on third down when Lance Kendricks caught a nine-yard pass.

However, it was called back. Offensive lineman Cody Wichmann was flagged for illegal use of hands (hands to the face.)

Keenum’s pass to Benny Cunningham on third down was short of a first down.

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Score remains 14-0, 49ers lead Rams in third quarter

The Rams defense has finally dialed it up as the 49ers go three and out for a second consecutive series.

Carlos Hyde was stuffed at the line for no gain on consecutive plays and T.J. McDonald dropped Jeremy Kerley for a loss of two yards after he caught a short pass.

We’ll see if the offense can get something, anything, going.

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Rams offense stalls, again

Another three and out for the Rams.

Maybe they should give Sean Mannion a whirl.

Case Keenum threw an incomplete pass to Tavon Austin before finding him for a five-yard gain.

On third and five Keenum took a huge hit as his pass to Kenny Britt fell incomplete. Keenum popped back up, but it couldn’t have felt good.

The Rams are one of 10 on third down.

Keenum is now nine of 20 for 69 yards, with an interception.

Todd Gurley has rushed for 29 yards in five carries.

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Rams defense forces 49ers to go three and out

The Rams defense has either improved in the second half or the 49ers offense has taken a page from the Rams’ book.

Maurice Alexander deflected Blaine Gabbert’s first-down pass.

Carlos Hyde rushed for three yards and Gabbert’s third-down pass attempt fell incomplete.

The 49ers punted for a fourth time.

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Rams offense goes three and out, again, to start second half

The Rams went three and out.

Rinse and repeat.

Todd Gurley rushed for four yards and then was dropped for a three-yard loss in consecutive carries.

Case Keenum completed a three-yard pass to Brian Quick on third and nine. Yeah, that’s a bit short.

Johnny Hekker punted for a seventh time.

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49ers punt to start second half

The 49ers punted on their first possession of the second half.

T.J. McDonald deflected Blaine Gabbert’s third-down pass attempt - but get this - it bounced right back into the hands of Gabbert. Nevertheless, McDonald was able to tackle him for a 16-yard loss.

Carlos Hyde rushed for no gain on first down and Quinton Patton caught a six-yard pass on second down.

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St. Louis must be happy

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49ers lead Rams, 14-0, at halftime

Los Angeles waited 22 years for this: The 49ers (picked by many to finish last in the NFC West) lead the Rams, 14-0, at halftime.

In seven series the Rams have punted six times and thrown an interception.

They are one of eight on third down.

Case Keenum has completed seven of 16 passes, with an interception.

Todd Gurley has rushed for 28 yards in 11 carries.

Forty Niners quarterback Blaine Gabbert is 12 of 18 for 80 yards and has rushed for 40 yards in seven carries.

Jeremy Kerley has caught four passes for 38 yards.

Carlos Hyde has rushed for 65 yard and a touchdown in 10 carries and Shaun Draughn has rushed for 18 yards and a touchdown in six carries.

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The Rams offense sputters, sputters, stops

The Rams offense looks miserable.

Too bad Jared Goff is inactive. He couldn’t look any worse than this.

The Rams go three and out, again, after Todd Gurley caught a pass but was dropped for a five-yard loss.

Case Keenum threw an incomplete pass to Brian Quick and was sacked on third down.

Keenum is seven of 16 for 61 yards, with an interception.

Gurley has rushed for 28 yards in 11 carries.

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Rams defense holds for a series

The 49ers went three and out after the two minute warning.

Carlos Hyde was dropped for a loss of a yard by Coty Sensabaugh and Alec Ogletree before he rushed for four yards.

Blaine Gabbert’s third-down pass fell incomplete.

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Rams force turnover but can’t score any points

Defensive tackle Dominique Easley forced a fumble and Trumaine Johnson recovered, but the Rams were unable to convert the turnover into any points.

Johnny Hekker punted for a sixth time.

Blaine Gabbert and Carlos Hyde continued to wreak havoc for the Rams’ defense before the turnover. The secondary, in particular, has struggled.

Gurley rushed for two yards before Case Keenum threw incomplete passes to Tyler Higbee and Tavon Austin.

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Rams punt for a fifth time

The Rams offense is struggling and they punted for a fifth time.

Tavon Austin rushed for two yards before Case Keenum completed a 22-yard pass to Kenny Britt.

The 49ers have shut down Todd Gurley who rushed for five yards in consecutive carries.

On third and five, Keenum’s pass fell far short of Austin.

The Rams are one of six on third down.

Keenum is six of 12 for 66 yards, with an interception.

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49ers lead Rams, 14-0, in the second quarter

Shaun Draughn rushed for three yards and a 49ers touchdown. The 49ers lead the Rams, 14-0, in the second quarter.

In the words of Rams Coach Jeff Fisher, this looks like some 7-9 type [stuff].

Blaine Gabbert converted on fourth and six with an 18-yard pass to Jeremy Kerley in front of Coty Sensabaugh.

A few plays later, Gabbert scrambled for nine yards to setup the touchdown run. Lamarcus Joyner was called for holding on the play. Gabbert was eventually tackled by Mark Barron in what looked like a frightening hit from the press box.

Gabbert has completed nine of 14 passes for 58 yards and has rushed for 41 yards in six carries.

Carlos Hyde has rushed for 51 yards and a touchdown in seven carries.

Daughn has rushed for 15 yards and a touchdown in five carries.

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Case Keenum throws first interception of season

This hasn’t exactly been great football by either team.

The 49ers turned the ball over on downs, despite Blaine Gabbert starting the series with a 15-yard completion to Torrey Smith and Carlos Hyder later breaking for an 18-yard carry.

The Rams took over at their 36-yard line.

Keenum completed a 22-yard pass to Kenny Britt over the middle to start the drive.

Later, on fourth and one at the 49ers’ 33-yard line, Todd Gurley converted with a three-yard carry, but was penalized for taunting - he broke the pile and flipped the ball towards a 49ers player - and the Rams moved back 15 yards.

Keenum’s pass on the following play was tipped (undetermined if it was by a Rams or 49ers players) and NaVorrro Bowman intercepted it.

The 49ers have the ball at the Rams 41-yard line.

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Rams go three and out for second consecutive series

The Rams went three and out for a second consecutive series.

Case Keenum completed a three-yard pass to Tavon Austin, his first reception of the season after he dropped a pass in the first series.

Todd Gurley was swallowed after he rushed for three yards.

And on third and four, Keenum’s pass to Tyler Higbee - a rookie - was broken up.

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49ers lead Rams, 7-0, in the first quarter

Carlos Hyde rushed for 11 yards and a touchdown. The 49ers lead the Rams, 7-0, in the first quarter.

The scoring drive covered 52 yards in 10 plays and took 3:18 off the clock.

It was as though the Red Sea parted when Hyde took off. Lamarcus Joyner was the lone Rams player to hit him as he crossed the goal line.

Blaine Gabbert has given the defense fits scrambling. The 49ers quarterback has rushed for 30 yards in four carries.

“Beat L.A.” is ringing through Levi’s Stadium form the late-arriving crowd.

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Two 49ers kneel during national anthem; two Rams raise fists

49ers safety Eric Reid, left, and quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneel during the national anthem before a game against the Rams in Santa Clara.
(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid once again kneeled during the national anthem before the San Francisco 49ers’ season opener against the Los Angeles Rams.

No other Niners players joined in the protest Monday night, although Rams defensive lineman Robert Quinn and receiver Kenny Britt held fists up during the anthem.

Kaepernick has refused to stand for the anthem all season in protest of police brutality and racial oppression in the United States. Reid joined him during the final exhibition game when the two decided to kneel, instead of sit, in a move meant to show more respect to veterans.

Several other players around the league took part in similar protests on opening weekend.

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Rams offense goes nowhere

Todd Gurley was practically stuffed in two consecutive carries - he gained only two yards - and Case Keenum was sacked on third down.

The Rams punted.

It was less than an inspiring series.

The 49ers will start on their 48-yard line.

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49ers punt in their first series

The 49ers punted in their first series.

On third and nine, Blaine Gabbert scrambled for 11 yards.

But they were stopped short of another first down when Coty Sensabaugh tackled Gabbert after a two-yard gain and his next two passes, both to Quinton Patton, were short of a first down.

The Rams will start from their own nine yard line.

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Rams punt in their first series

The Rams were forced to punt on their first series after Case Keenum’s third-down pass fell incomplete.

Todd Gurley rushed for four yards in one carry.

Keenum was three for six for nine yards completions to Lance Kendricks, Kenny Britt and Tyler Higbee. He also rushed for six yards.

Tavon Austin, who signed a four-year contract extension before the season, dropped a pass.

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Rams’ Kenny Britt, Robert Quinn raise fists during national anthem

Rams receiver Kenny Britt and defensive end Robert Quinn stood for the anthem with fists raised in the air.

The 49ers’ backup quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, and safety Eric Reid took a knee, while teammate Quinton Dial stood alongside military members holding the flag.

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Counting down to kickoff

There’s less than an hour before the Rams and 49ers kickoff for Monday Night Football.

It’s a chilly, breezy late-summer day in Santa Clara. The field cooled off quickly after the sun fell behind the oversized press box and luxury suites at Levi’s Stadium.

The Rams inactive players, including No. 1 pick Jared Goff, were on the field working out about 90 minutes prior to kickoff. It was an interesting opportunity to watch Goff, given many predicted he would start against the 49ers, near his hometown of Novato in Marin County.

Rams executives told The Times that they do not anticipate any demonstrations from their players during the national anthem.

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Live from Levi’s Stadium before kickoff

The Times’ Bill Plaschke, Gary Klein, Mike DiGiovanna and Lindsey Thiry discuss tonight’s game from the sideline during warmups.

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San Francisco 49ers inactive players

Inactive players for the 49ers tonight:

Quarterback Christian Ponder

Cornerback Keith Reaser

Cornerback Chris Davis

Guard Joshua Garnett

Offensive lineman John Theus

Defensive lineman Glenn Dorsey

Defensive tackle Taylor Hart

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Rams inactive players

Rams inactive players for tonight’s game against the 49ers:

Quarterback Jared Goff

Receiver Pharoh Cooper

Receiver Nelson Spruce

Cornerback E.J. Gaines

Cornerback Steven Williams

Offensive lineman Pace Murphy

Defensive lineman Matt Longacre

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What to expect when the Rams and 49ers face each other

(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

The Rams can’t go anywhere but up after finishing last in the NFL in passing offense last season.

Quarterback Case Keenum does not have a huge arm, but he was efficient during four exhibition games. In six games last season, Keenum completed 61% of his passes for 828 yards and four touchdowns, with one interception.

Tavon Austin and Kenny Britt are the top receivers and Lance Kendricks and Tyler Higbee the tight ends. Left tackle Greg Robinson must protect Keenum’s blind side.

The 49ers ranked 29th in the NFL last season with 28 sacks.

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He’s the man the 49ers must stop to beat the Rams

(Ryan Kang / Associated Press)

The Rams purposely kept receiver Tavon Austin out of the mix during the exhibition season, a ploy to prevent the San Francisco 49ers and other teams from collecting scouting material.

On Monday night at Levi’s Stadium, Austin is expected to play a central role for the Rams offense and special teams in the season opener against the 49ers.

“They definitely used me the right way in the preseason,” Austin said. “Whatever happens Monday, that’s for the world to see.”

Austin, 5 feet 8 and 176 pounds, last season led the Rams with 52 receptions for 473 yards and five touchdowns. He also rushed for 434 yards and four touchdowns in 52 carries.

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It’s a new season, and a new era, for the Rams and 49ers

Rams running back Todd Gurley signals first down during a game against the 49ers last season.
(Billy Hurst / Associated Press)

It was once among the best rivalries in the NFL.

Through the 1970s and ’80s, the Los Angeles Rams or the San Francisco 49ers won all but two NFC West division titles.

The Rams’ return to Southern California after a 21-year absence could spark a renewal, starting tonight when they open their season at Levi’s Stadium on “Monday Night Football.”

It’s an entirely different landscape than when the Rams left for St. Louis after the 1994 season.

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