The San Francisco 49ers are making it clear to the rest of the NFC West Division and the NFL at large that they are after a Super Bowl championship this season. While the 49ers had a few moments of uncertainty against the Los Angeles Rams Sunday, San Francisco scored 30 points again and beat its division rivals by a touchdown. The Rams are surviving without wide receiver Cooper Kupp for at least two more weeks after this one.
The Seattle Seahawks were the only other NFC West team to win Sunday. The Seahawks beat a solid Detroit team on the road in overtime. Arizona had the most challenging weekend. The Cardinals looked destined for a surprise victory over the New York Giants, only to suffer a devastating collapse at home.
|Week 2 Result
|W, 30-23 at Los Angeles Chargers
|Los Angeles Rams
|L, 30-23 vs. San Francisco 49ers
|W, 37-31 OT at Detroit Lions
|L, 31-28 vs. New York Giants
49ers Offense Moves Efficiently
San Francisco won’t ever expect Brock Purdy to be the most flashy quarterback in the NFL. What the 49ers hope to get from Purdy is steady performances where he manages the game. Against the Rams, San Francisco got what it needed from Purdy.
Purdy completed 17 of 25 passes for 206 yards against the Rams. San Francisco’s offense would end up scoring all three touchdowns on the ground. Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, and Purdy could all get into the endzone. Samuel also led the team with 63 yards. Jauan Jennings was also able to catch two passes for 51 yards.
Stafford Sees Major Increase in Workload
Los Angeles quarterback Matthew Stafford saw a bit of a regression. Playing without Kupp in Week 1, Stafford played smart and was able to tear up a questionable Seahawks’ secondary. Playing against a ferocious San Francisco defense in Week 2 was a different challenge.
Stafford was intercepted twice during the Rams’ 30-23 loss. Thanks to falling behind San Francisco, Stafford was asked to up his workload. He attempted 55 passes, nearly twice as many as the week before. The Rams will still be without Kupp for two more weeks, so Stafford must remain efficient with the younger players to keep things on track.
Injury Bug Hits Seahawks Hard
Seattle pulled off an important road win in Detroit despite having several key players going in and out of the lineup throughout the game. Veteran wide receiver DK Metcalf suffered a rib injury during the game. Metcalf led the team in receiving by catching six passes for 75 yards.
Seattle receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba also went to the injury tent during the game. Smith-Njigba would come back in and catch five passes for 34 yards.
Lockett Pulls in Game-Winning Touchdown Pass
Seattle wide receiver Tyler Lockett has been a steady performer for the Seahawks since he came into the league in 2015. He has produced four 1,000-yard receiving seasons in the past four seasons. Lockett showed his value against Detroit.
He caught eight passes for 59 yards and two touchdowns. Lockett got free for a six-yard touchdown catch in overtime to give Seattle the win.
Arizona Suffers Brutal Second-Half Collapse
The Cardinals are in the wrong spot without starting quarterback Kyler Murray. Arizona has been forced to start journeyman Josh Dobbs at quarterback. During the first half, the Cardinals’ offense moved like Dobbs had been playing the position consistently for years.
Arizona built a 20-0 lead over a Giants’ team that appeared destined to be unable to get out of its way. Dobbs completed 21 of 31 passes for 228 yards and a touchdown pass. Dobbs also carried the ball three times for 41 yards and a touchdown. Arizona also had a solid running game to support Dobbs.
James Conner, who also started his career in Pittsburgh like Dobbs, finished with 106 rushing yards on 23 carries. He also scored a touchdown on the ground.
49ers Will Keep Eyes on Aiyuk
San Francisco will have a short week heading into its home opener with the San Francisco Giants on Thursday. 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk suffered a shoulder injury against the Rams on Sunday but still played sporadically throughout the game. San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan said he believes Aiyuk would be OK for Thursday, but the team will monitor the injury. Aiyuk finished with three catches for 43 yards against the Rams.
Rams Keep Their Eyes on Running Game
Los Angeles decided that Cam Akers may not fit into its plans anymore in the backfield. The ms Rams made Akers inactive before Sunday’s game with the 49ers. Rumors are that Los Angeles may have Akers on the trading block.
Against the 49ers, Los Angeles allowed Kyren Williams to carry the workload in the running game. Williams ran the ball 14 times for 52 yards and a touchdown. Akers was a significant part of Los Angeles’ gameplan in Week 1 against Seattle, carrying the ball 22 times for 29 yards and a touchdown to open the season.
Akers had his best season with the Rams in 2022. He piled up 786 yards and seven touchdowns on 188 carries. Akers missed all of 2021 with an injury. During his rookie year in 2020, Akers ran for 625 yards and two touchdowns.
Los Angeles Angers a Few Gamblers, Excites Others
The Rams were either 7 of 7.5-point underdogs pregame, depending on what time of the week you bet the game. Trailing by 10 points with 4 seconds, Los Angeles coach Sean McVay sent out the field goal team. Brett Maher made the field goal for the Rams, which allowed Los Angeles to cut the lead to seven points as time expired. It also made anyone who had bet the Rams on the spread happy.