Matthew Stafford sacked seven times, can’t find end zone in Rams’ loss to 49ers

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford scrambles against the San Francisco 49ers during the first quarter.
Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford scrambles against the San Francisco 49ers during the Rams’ 24-9 loss at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Monday night.
(Godofredo A. Vásquez / Associated Press)

Matthew Stafford throws a costly fourth-quarter pick-six and fumbles the ball late in the Rams’ 24-9 loss to the NFC West rival San Francisco 49ers.

Rams left reeling as regular-season slide against 49ers continues in loss

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — From Super Bowl champions to super average. Mediocre. And trending perhaps toward ... super bad?

That’s where the Rams find themselves after a 24-9 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night at Levi’s Stadium.

“However you want to cut it,” coach Sean McVay said, “we have to be better collectively.”

It marked the Rams’ seventh consecutive regular-season loss to the 49ers — the fourth in a row at Levi’s Stadium — dropping the Rams’ record to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in the NFC West.

For most teams, a .500 record is not cause for alarm. The NFL is set up to make it tough on the defending Super Bowl champion — and every team in the NFC West is now 2-2.

Read more >>>


Matthew Stafford fumble dooms Rams in 24-9 loss

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford stands on the field.
Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford stands on the field during the second half of the Rams’ 24-9 loss to the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium on Monday night.
(Jed Jacobsohn / Associated Press)

🏈 49ers 24, Rams 9 — FINAL

San Francisco defensive end Samson Ebukam forced a Matthew Stafford fumble on the Rams’ penultimate possession, dooming L.A. to yet another regular-season loss to their NFC West rivals.

Stafford was sacked seven times and he threw a pick-six to former USC defensive back Talanoa Hufanga earlier in the fourth quarter that more or less sealed the Rams’ fate.

Like they had several times previously in the game, the Rams were driving before running into issues. Stafford managed to convert on fourth-and-10 with a 13-yard pass to Cooper Kupp to keep the drive alive.

A handful of plays later, Ebukam got a hand on the ball as Stafford pulled his arm back to pass, dislodging the ball and allowing Kerry Hyder Jr. to recover.

The Rams have lost to the 49ers seven consecutive times in the regular season, although they defeated San Francisco in the NFC championship game last year to punch their ticket to the Super Bowl.

Stafford completed 32 of 48 passes for 254 yards. Kupp had a career-high 14 receptions for 122 yards and Tyler Higbee made 10 catches for 73 yards.

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford walks off the field after losing to the 49ers.
(Jed Jacobsohn / Associated Press)

San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo completed 16 of 27 passes for 239 yards and a touchdown. Wide receiver Deebo Samuel made six catches for 115 yards for the 49ers.

The Rams (2-2) return home to play the Dallas Cowboys next week. The 49ers (2-2) will play the Carolina Panthers on road Sunday.


Matthew Stafford throws pick-six as 49ers take 24-9 lead

San Francisco 49ers safety Talanoa Hufanga intercepts a pass.
San Francisco 49ers safety Talanoa Hufanga, right, intercepts a pass from Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford and returns it for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
(Godofredo A. Vásquez / Associated Press)

🏈 49ers 24, Rams 9 — 6:27 left in the fourth

San Francisco safety Talanoa Hufanga scored on a 52-yard interception return to give the 49ers a commanding lead late in the fourth quarter.

With the Rams driving, Matthew Stafford was trying to find Cooper Kupp when Hufanga read the route and surged forward to cut off the pass, with his momentum carrying him untouched to the end zone.

It was third interception thrown in the fourth quarter by Stafford this season. The Rams have three timeouts left, but can they quickly find the end zone after so many misfires tonight?



Justin Hollins and Takkarist McKinley get into argument on sideline

🏈 49ers 17, Rams 9 — 8:38 left in fourth quarter

Rams linebacker Justin Hollins and newly arrived defensive end Takkarist McKinley got into a heated argument on the Rams’ sideline during the second half.

The game broadcast showed Rams teammates separating Hollins and McKinley as they yelled at one another.

The argument is not a good look for a Rams team that needs everyone on the same page if they’re going to rally against the 49ers.

The good news for the Rams? San Francisco’s Robbie Gould, considered one of the best kickers in the NFL, missed a 42-yard field-goal attempt with 8:38 left in regulation.


49ers held to field goal after George Kittle can’t stay in bounds

San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle, middle, is tackled by the Rams in the second half.
(Godofredo A. Vásquez / Associated Press)

🏈 49ers 17, Rams 9 — 14:53 left in the fourth quarter

The San Francisco 49ers missed out on a touchdown by the slimmest of margins and settled for a 25-yard field goal by Robbie Gould to extend their lead early in the fourth quarter.

On third down, 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo seemingly found George Kittle in the back of the end zone, but the tight end’s foot landed out of bounds, wiping out the reception.

It was good news for the Rams, who couldn’t stop the 49ers from marching 67 yards. A huge hit by Bobby Wagner on Deebo Samuel at the one-yard line following a seven-yard catch proved to be just as vital for L.A.


Rams held to another field goal after driving into red zone

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford passes in the first half.
(Jed Jacobsohn / Associated Press)

🏈 49ers 14, Rams 9 — 4:25 left in the third quarter

Another gritty Rams drive ends in disappointment and near disaster.

The Rams settled for their third field goal of the night — a 26-yarder from Matt Gay — after coming up short in the red zone for the second time.

Matthew Stafford drove the Rams 75 yards and 16 plays, shaking off being sacked for the fifth time to get the ball to the San Francisco seven-yard line. But three incomplete passes, including one nearly intercepted in the end zone by the 49ers, limited the Rams to only a field goal.


San Francisco 49ers hold onto 14-6 halftime lead

🏈 49ers 14, Rams 6 — Halftime

Cornerback (38) Deommodore Lenoir of the San Francisco 49ers sacks quarterback (9) Matthew Stafford.
San Francisco 49ers cornerback Deommodore Lenoir sacks Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford during the first half.
(Jeff Lewis / Associated Press)

The Rams are struggling to finish drives and are in danger of repeating last year’s ill-fated trip to Levi’s Stadium.

While the first half wasn’t quite as frustrating as last year’s prime-time affair in Santa Clara, the 49ers’ big-play touchdowns have to be annoying for Sean McVay and the Rams’ faithful.

Jeff Wilson Jr. scored the 49ers’ first touchdown on a 32-yard run and wide receiver Deebo Samuel scored on a 57-yard reception. The Rams had to settle for a pair of Matt Gay field goals after two solid-looking drives sputtered deep in 49ers territory.

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel breaks a tackle attempt by Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel breaks a tackle attempt by Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey to score on a 57-yard touchdown catch.
(Godofredo A. Vásquez / Associated Press)

Matthew Stafford, who was sacked four times in the first half, completed 13 of 19 passes for 97 yards, with Cooper Kupp amassing 58 yards on seven receptions. The Rams’ running game, however, has been virtually nonexistent once again, with Cam Akers limited to 14 yards on five carries.

Niners quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is 9 for 17 for 138 yards. Samuel has three catches for 79 yards and Brandon Aiyuk has three receptions for 31 yards.

The Rams desperately need to find the end zone — and stop the big plays on defense — if they want to go 2-0 against NFC West foes this season.


Bobby Wagner takes out protestor who runs onto field

A protestor on the field with a smoke bomb is hit by Rams teammates Takkarist McKinley, middle, and Bobby Wagner.
A protestor on the field with a smoke bomb is hit by Rams teammates Takkarist McKinley, middle, and Bobby Wagner during the first half.
(Godofredo A. Vásquez / Associated Press)

It appears Rams defensive star Bobby Wagner isn’t just dishing out hits on the San Francisco 49ers tonight.

During the second quarter, a protestor with a pink smoke bomb ran onto the field, only to be taken down with a huge hit by Wagner as security gave chase.


Deebo Samuel’s 57-yard TD catch extends 49ers’ lead

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel runs scores on a 57-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter.
(Godofredo A. Vásquez / Associated Press)

🏈 49ers 14, Rams 6 — 2:46 left in the second quarter

San Francisco wide receiver Deebo Samuel showcased his speed and athleticism on a 57-yard touchdown reception, with about 51 yards coming after the catch to extend the lead for the 49ers in the second quarter.

Samuel weaved his way through the Rams’ defense, breaking multiple tackles along the way. Rams rookie cornerback Derion Kendrick tried to pick off the pass but missed the ball.


Rams kick another field goal, still trail 49ers

🏈 49ers 7, Rams 6 — 6:48 left in the second quarter

After a couple possessions went nowhere, Matthew Stafford and Rams put together a promising-looking drive only for it to sputter in the red zone.

Matt Gay kicked a 29-yard field goal to make it a one-point game in the second quarter. The kick ended a 14-play, 54-yard drive that appeared to be destined for the end zone, highlighted by an 18-yard catch by Cooper Kupp.

Unfortunately, on third and goal, Stafford and Kupp couldn’t connect in the end zone, with the throw coming just as the prolific wide receiver cut in front of coverage. If the throw was a split second later, the Rams might have taken the lead.


Jeff Wilson Jr. scores 32-yard touchdown to give 49ers the lead

🏈 49ers 7, Rams 3 — 2:46 left in the first quarter

San Francisco 49ers running back Jeff Wilson Jr. celebrates after scoring on a 32-yard touchdown run.
San Francisco 49ers running back Jeff Wilson Jr. celebrates after scoring on a 32-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.
(Godofredo A. Vásquez / Associated Press)

Jeff Wilson Jr. made the Rams defense look foolish, sprinting untouched through a huge lane up the middle for a 32-yard touchdown to thrust the 49ers into the lead.

The touchdown capped an eight-play, 75-yard drive for the 49ers, with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo completing four of five passes for 44 yards.


Rams take early lead on Matt Gay field goal

Rams kicker Matt Gay makes a 39-yard field goal against the 49ers in the first quarter.
(Godofredo A. Vásquez / Associated Press)

🏈 Rams 3, 49ers 0 — 6:48 left in first quarter

Matt Gay kicked a 39-yard field goal to cap off the first possession of the game and give the Rams an early lead.

Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp spearheaded most of the drive, which quickly moved the ball down field before a sack on Stafford by former Rams defensive end Samson Ebukam brought things to a halt.

Stafford completed all seven of his passes on the 14-play possession, with Kupp making three catches for 27 yards.


Why Rams’ Matthew Stafford still has more interceptions than touchdown passes

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford looks to pass the football while running on a field.
Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford looks to pass during a win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sept. 25.
(Rick Scuteri / Associated Press)

Matthew Stafford will not go into a “Monday Night Football” matchup against the San Francisco 49ers riding an obvious wave of production.

The Rams quarterback did not throw a touchdown pass in last Sunday’s victory over the Arizona Cardinals, the first time since the 2020 season — when Stafford played for the Detroit Lions — that the 14th-year pro was shut out.

But Stafford and coach Sean McVay are hardly concerned.

For the first time in three games, Stafford did not have a pass intercepted. And at least one potential touchdown was botched by a receiver.

Read more >>>


Does 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo still have some of that magic vs. Rams?

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo looks to pass the football.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo looks to pass against the Denver Broncos on Sept. 25.
(Jack Dempsey / Associated Press)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — He was cast aside for a younger quarterback regarded as the San Francisco 49ers’ future.

He had shoulder surgery. Did not participate in the team’s offseason workouts. Worked off to the side during training camp and waited in vain as the 49ers sought trade partners.

There was no reason for the Rams to believe they would play against Jimmy Garoppolo in a 49ers uniform this season.

But on Monday night at Levi’s Stadium, the Rams once again will face the winning but oft-maligned quarterback who typically plays some of his best games against them.

Read more >>>


Here are the inactives for Rams vs. 49ers

Here are the players who will not be suiting up for Monday’s game between the Rams and San Francisco 49ers:


DB Cobie Durant

WR Tutu Atwell

QB Bryce Perkins

CB David Long Jr.

CB Shaun Jolly

C Brian Allen

G David Edwards


WR Danny Gray

RB Ty Davis-Price

S Tarvarius Moore

OL Nick Zakelj

OT Trent Williams

TE Tyler Kroft

DT Javon Kinlaw


49ers on Rams: ‘It’s the Cooper Kupp show, like no matter how you try to slice it up’

Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp catches a pass in warmups before a win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sept. 25.
(Rick Scuteri / Associated Press)

He is not noted as a receiver who simply blows past defenders on his way to the end zone.

But with the ball in his hands — this time on a jet sweep, not after catching a pass — Cooper Kupp seemingly found a new gear.

During last Sunday’s victory over the Arizona Cardinals, Kupp took a handoff from quarterback Matthew Stafford on a misdirection play and ran around the left end 20 yards for his first career rushing touchdown.

“I still don’t call myself a blazer or anything like that,” Kupp said Friday, “but I’m fast enough to get around the corner sometimes. I give myself enough credit to be able to do that.”

Read more >>>


Inside ‘ManningCast’: How Peyton and Eli Manning are changing the way we watch sports

Peyton Manning works in his makeshift studio in a friend's vintage car garage in Denver.
(Sam Farmer / Los Angeles Times)

DENVER — The nondescript one-story warehouse sits just off a busy street south of downtown. Motorists pass by the thousands and seemingly no one gives the place a second glance. If only they knew what happens on the other side of those corrugated metal walls.

Not only is the 10,000-square-foot building home to a private collection of 18 lacquered muscle cars, but it’s also where another No. 18 — legendary quarterback Peyton Manning — takes the wheel of “ManningCast,” turning “Monday Night Football” games into weekly gabfest with his younger brother, Eli.

This week, the Mannings gave The Los Angeles Times an exclusive look into the inner workings of the ESPN2 show, which attracts about 1.5 million viewers per episode.

The brothers are across the country from each other, Peyton in the warehouse and Eli in a studio ESPN built in his New Jersey home. Peyton considered doing the same, but he and his wife, Ashley, were doing some remodeling and he didn’t love the idea of all that equipment in his house year-round. So he took a friend up on his offer to transform the garage.

Read more >>>


Rams vs. 49ers: Betting odds, lines and picks against the spread

The Rams have a massive NFC West matchup on Monday Night Football against the 49ers. Here’s a look at the game from a betting perspective.

Rams at San Francisco 49ers (-1½, 42½)

It wasn’t pretty for either of these teams last week, but one won and the other didn’t, which means that the Rams have the chance to open a two-game lead in the NFC West with an MNF victory over their rivals. Lost in L.A.’s 20-12 win over the Cardinals is that the Rams averaged 7.4 yards per play, so they moved the ball very effectively. They also failed to cash in on two of their three red-zone trips and went three-of-eight on third down.

The Cardinals ran 81 plays to just 46 for the Rams, who allowed Arizona to convert four out of five fourth-down attempts and stay on the field for nearly 34 minutes of game play.

Read more >>>


Rams vs. San Francisco 49ers matchups, start time, how to watch and prediction

Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp runs a route against the Arizona Cardinals on Sept. 25.
(Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press)

Breaking down how the Rams (2-1) and the San Francisco 49ers (1-2) match up heading into their game at 5:15 p.m. PDT on Monday at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. The game will be shown on ABC and ESPN and streamed on ESPN+ and NFL+.

When Rams have the ball: The Rams’ offense remains in search of a breakthrough performance. Quarterback Matthew Stafford has passed for four touchdowns, with five interceptions, but Stafford did not commit a turnover in a 20-12 road victory over the Arizona Cardinals last Sunday. He also did not pass for a touchdown — the first time he has been shut out since joining the Rams last season.

Starting left guard David Edwards is out because of a concussion, so Bobby Evans will step in for a line that will feature a fourth starting group in four games. Wide receiver Cooper Kupp, the reigning NFL offensive player of the year, has 28 catches, three for touchdowns. He also rushed for a touchdown against the Cardinals.

Read more >>>