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Three Takeaways From Week Four

The San Francisco 49ers soundly defeated the division rival Los Angeles Rams with a final score of 24-9 on Monday night. In what was a great performance from the Niners, here are the top weekly takeaways from Week Four.

49ers Defensive Dominance

It feels like we talk about this incredible defense every week. That is likely not going to change when they keep playing the way they have so far. The 49ers currently have the best defense in the NFL and it was on full display in prime time for the second consecutive week.

So far this season, the 49ers have only allowed 37 points on defense. That equates to allowing just 9.25 points per game through about a quarter of the 2022 campaign. Holding the Rams to nine points is an incredible feat. Despite the Rams losing key pieces and having a banged-up offensive line, the Niners were able to keep the defending champions out of the end zone. It didn’t seem to matter what Sean McVay dialed up for the offense because Matthew Stafford was under immense pressure all night long.

Stafford who threw one interception had another two that were dropped by 49er defenders. The Niners had a total of seven sacks and allowed just 3.5 yards per play. The Rams won the time of possession by about nine minutes and ran 73 plays to San Francisco’s 49, but the Rams still accrued 70 fewer yards than the Niners.

TZZ UP FOR BIG HUF First-career pick 6 for @TalanoaHufanga! 📺 #LARvsSF on @ESPNNFL — San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) October 4, 2022

San Francisco was able to display this level of dominance without the services of Javon Kinlaw, Jimmie Ward and Arik Armstead who left mid-game with a foot injury. To be dominating opposing offenses the way they have without their full squad on the field is nothing short of incredible. Just wait until they can finally roll out all of their starting defensive players.

When you’re able to play that well on defense against Sean McVay, Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp, you can throw any arguments about having a weak early part of the schedule in the recycling bin. These guys are legit no matter who they face.

All-Pro Deebo

Deebo Samuel looked like the Deebo of 2022 last night with an incredible touchdown. Samuel caught a pass that was high on a slant route which was heavily contested by a Rams defensive back. He ended up taking the pass to the house on what was a 57-yard touchdown while breaking multiple tackles along the way. Samuel seemed to get past the entire Rams defense on the play after catching an underneath pass.

Holy Deebo 😱 — 49ers on NBCS (@NBCS49ers) October 4, 2022

The Niners have been struggling to get Deebo going the first few weeks of the season. It seems as if opposing defenses aren’t biting on Deebo’s runs and have a huge emphasis on taking Samuel out of the running game completely. This has hurt the 49ers’ ability to use him as a wide-back and utilize his versatility. Ahead of the matchup, one of the keys to victory we mentioned was to get him involved more as a receiver and put Samuel in a position for opportunities to gain yards after the catch. The touchdown play was exactly that and it unlocked the weapon that is Deebo Samuel.

Improvement On Offense

It’s true, the offense couldn’t have played much worse than it did in Denver the week before, but they did improve this week nonetheless. While the offense still didn’t look great, it’s really encouraging the 49ers were able to put points on the board and move the chains without all-pro left tackle Trent Williams. His replacement, Colton McKivitz also got injured during the game and suffered an MCL sprain. With a depleted left tackle position, the Niners were steady up front.

Aaron Banks had a good game and Mike McGlinchey didn’t allow a single pressure from the right tackle position. To have a clean game on the offensive line without Williams was arguably the most encouraging part of the game moving forward. Especially when they were able to do so when lining up against Aaron Donald. Jimmy Garoppolo was not great and still missed some teammates running wide open down the field, but he did enough to win the game. After an abysmal performance in Denver, Garoppolo came out with some nice throws to start the game and didn’t commit any turnovers.

When the 49ers can be as dominant as they were defensively and Jimmy G can take care of the ball, the Niners are arguably the most dangerous team in the NFC. While there was an improvement, they still need to score more points to be true contenders. The offense scored 17 points in the contest while Talanoa Hufanga scored the other touchdown on his first career pick-six.

Granted, Robbie Gould uncharacteristically missed a field goal that would’ve been 20 points for the offense. But for those who remember, 17 points was how much they scored in the NFC title game loss to the Rams last season, surely you’d like to see them score in the 20’s moving forward.

The offense will be something to monitor and the defense should continue to be fun to watch. The 49ers have the tiebreaker advantage and are currently in first place in the NFC West. With all NFC West teams now having a 2-2 record, the 49ers are now on to Week Five where they will face the Carolina Panthers on the road to embark on their 13-game regular season for the division title and a playoff spot.



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