Christian McCaffrey and Deebo Samuel power 49ers to win vs. Rams: Brock Purdy keeps winning

Written by Matt Barrows, David Lombardi, and Jordan Rodrigue

The San Francisco 49ers picked up their second win of the season with a 30-23 win over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday at So-Fi Stadium. Here’s what you need to know:

  • San Francisco QB Brock Purdy moved to 7-0 as a starter in the regular season.
  • 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown and added 19 yards on three catches.
  • San Francisco’s Deebo Samuel scored 101 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown.
  • Rams receiver Pukka Nakoa broke the NFL record on Sunday for most catches in a player’s first two games of a season with 25 catches in Weeks 1 and 2. He also set the single-game rookie mark with 15 receptions, along with 147 receiving yards.

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Purdy gets it done

Purdy wasn’t as sharp as he was in Pittsburgh. The quarterback with the often-criticized arm has taken down Brandon Aiyuk, Juwan Jennings and Samuel for potentially big gains. His best throws came in the fourth quarter as the 49ers held a three-point lead. He fired a dart across the middle that Samuel gathered for 16 yards. On the next play, he trusted that Jennings would come down with what was essentially a jump ball along the left sideline. The 6-foot-3 receiver did just that for a 31-yard gain, the 49ers’ longest pass of the day. It set up an 11-yard touchdown run by Samuel, the only touchdown of the game in the second half. — wheelbarrows

Niners are hurting at CB

Injuries are often epidemic at one position, and for the 49ers, that position was cornerback.

They entered Sunday’s game without one backup cornerback, Samuel Womack III, who injured his knee in Wednesday’s practice and was placed on injured reserve. The team also lost Ambry Thomas (knee) and Demodore Lenoir (concussion precaution) for parts of the game. Thomas returned to the contest in the third quarter when Lenoir had to come off while Lenoir was cleared of a concussion and made the game-clinching interception late in the fourth quarter.

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All the issues meant Isaiah Oliver played nickel linebacker for most of the contest. He had a big game, including a quick hitch on a tipped pass in the third quarter that led to a 57-yard field goal from Jake Moody. — wheelbarrows

San Francisco is making fundamental adjustments

The 49ers won the right battle, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Matthew Stafford kept the defense off balance in the first half, but coordinator Steve Wilkes’ prolific offense finally broke down the Rams in the second half. The 49ers intercepted Stafford twice and put the game away with their usual balanced attack on the offensive end.

The 49ers clearly have their tried-and-true winning formula in use. The balance of their team allows for complementary football, which came in great numbers today. One of the biggest plays? A 57-yard field goal from rookie kicker Jake Moody proved he was worth the third-round pick the 49ers spent on him. — Lombardy

Transitions make a difference

While the Rams made this more of a fistfight than many expected, a costly interception that took off the hands of running back Kyren Williams began to swing this in the 49ers’ favor. Quarterback Matthew Stafford threw a second interception deep in the Rams’ own zone, a jump route intended for Van Jefferson (his first target of the day). However, it looked as if Stafford and the Rams were on their way until fourth-and-2, when a missed block led to a full lane and a loss. The pressure began on Stafford in the second half after a well-guarded first half, and the Rams also lost starting right guard Joe Noteboom for the rest of the game to a shoulder injury.
I thought the Rams played this 49ers team more physical than they have in several previous games, and they are clearly starting to build an identity behind the more assertive line play and gap running. But two self-inflicted errors were all the space a dominant 49ers roster needed to put the game away. — Rodrigue

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(Photo: Sean M. Havey/Getty Images)

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