Even though the game was held in Santa Clara, California, it had the atmosphere of a Hollywood premiere.

Odell Beckham and Von Miller made their Los Angeles Rams debuts under the Monday night lights and on the prime-time stage.

However, as the Rams were ready to roll out the red carpet, the underdog San Francisco 49ers were hardly ready to roll over and showed it with a physical, run-based attack from the start that led them to a 31-10 upset.

"This was a humbling night for us," Rams head coach Sean McVay said.

The Rams (7-3) are in second position in the NFC West after losing for the fifth time in a row against the rival 49ers (4-5).

It was not only an upset loss, but it was also one in which the 49ers dominated on the ground, rushing 44 times for 156 yards. On both sides of the ball, they were the more aggressive team, and it showed right on when San Francisco took over after a Jimmie Ward interception and ran it straight down the Rams' necks for a 7-0 advantage they would never relinquish.

The 49ers' opening drive was an 18-play, 93-yard journey that took 11 minutes, 3 seconds of game time and may have taken something more from the Rams.

"It's the way we want to do it," said 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who ended the opening march with an 8-yard touchdown pass to George Kittle. "I don't want to say it took their soul away, but it definitely did something."

Ward had another interception after the 49ers' soul-crushing opening salvo, this time returning it for a touchdown after a Matthew Stafford throw was lost by Tyler Higbee and cradled by Ward. The beginning was forceful and methodical, as well as rapid and staggering.

"We wanted to make it as physical as possible and we knew if we did that, it would come down to the turnover battle," said 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, whose team won the turnover battle, 2-0, thanks to Ward's two interceptions.

The 49ers had compelled their will, whereas the Rams appeared to have lost it.

It wasn't exactly going according to plan, since the 49ers, who had been struggling all season, were meant to be the Rams' first opponent, with Beckham and Miller joining the team's all-star ensemble. But things didn't turn out that way.

Posted 
Nov 16, 2021
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