49ers observations: Christian McCaffrey’s historic game drives win over the Rams

INGLEWOOD — The 49ers continued their regular-season dominance over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, and that could potentially have saved their season.

Running back Christian McCaffrey had a game to remember, showing exactly when the 49ers parted with four draft picks to win it.

And veteran reserves Jimmy Garoppolo and George Kittle put the finishing touches to a 31-14 win when they teamed up for a 7-yard touchdown midway through the fourth quarter.

Here’s a look at some of the takeaways from San Francisco’s pivotal Week 8 win in front of a crowd composed mostly of 49ers fans at SoFi Stadium:

Where the 49ers stand at bye week

Bye week comes at the perfect time for the 49ers.

Where have you heard that before?

The 49ers should get some injured players – like Deebo Samuel, Elijah Mitchell, Arik Armstead, Dre Greenlaw and Azeez Al-Shaair – back after the reunion.

This was a crucial game for NFC West rivals. The 49ers leveled their record on the season to 4-4 while the Rams fall to 3-4 after their bye week. The division-leading Seattle Seahawks improved to a 5-3 win over the New York Giants on Sunday.

The 49ers remain unbeaten in the NFC West with the Rams’ season sweep. That becomes critical because the 49ers would hold every key advantage over their state rival.

The 49ers beat the Rams 24-9 in Week 4 at Levi’s Stadium.

The 49ers are returning from their week off to face the Los Angeles Chargers on November 13. Then the 49ers meet Arizona in Mexico City, followed by New Orleans, Miami, Tampa Bay, Seattle, Washington, Las Vegas and Arizona.

The final opportunity for teams to add to their rosters comes with the NFL trade deadline on Tuesday.

McCaffrey does everything

Deebo Samuel, the ultimate Rams killer, was unavailable with a hamstring injury. So the 49ers would certainly be relying heavily on recently acquired Christian McCaffrey.

In fact, McCaffrey let the ball run and he caught the ball.

But the 49ers scored their first points on Sunday with his ability to throw the ball.

McCaffrey did it all and became the first running back in the franchise to throw a touchdown pass, catch a touchdown pass and hit on a touchdown run.

It all started in the most unlikely way.

McCaffrey took a back pass from Jimmy Garoppolo down the right, then threw a shot across the field to a wide-open Brandon Aiyuk for a 34-yard touchdown.

McCaffrey’s second career touchdown pass tied the game 7-7, with 12-10 remaining in the second quarter.

The game recalled a scoring game the 49ers had in their critical Week 18 game against the Rams when Samuel Jauan found Jennings for a 24-yard touchdown that ended the game in the third quarter to defeat the 49ers by a 17: Recover 0 residue.

Then, late in the third quarter, the 49ers took a 17-14 lead when McCaffrey caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from Garoppolo. McCaffrey went high to the back right corner of the end zone to make the catch against Jalen Ramsey’s cover.

On the 49ers’ next drive, McCaffrey fired from 1 yard into the end zone to give the 49ers a 24-14 lead, with a 12-07 rule.

McCaffrey finished with 94 rushing yards from 18 carries, 55 receiving yards from eight receptions and a completion for 34 yards.

Rams play 49ersBall in the first half

The 49ers’ winning formula against the Rams in the past has generally consisted of an offense with ball control that dominates possession time.

The Rams started Sunday with a 49ers-like 17-play, 88-yard drive that culminated in Matthew Stafford’s first touchdown run since the 2016 season.

The drive was extended twice on penalties inside the 4-yard line, resulting in automatic first downs.

Ambry Thomas was called off the 4th minute for holding an incomplete pass defensively in a second-to-goal play.

Three plays later, Charvarius Ward was caught for pass interference against Allen Robinson in the end zone in a third-and-goal play from 2nd quarter.

RELATED: NFL Twitter Breaks Out After McCaffrey’s Touchdown Pass Happens to Aiyuk

In the Rams’ seventh game from within the 4, Stafford scored on a third-and-goal scramble from the 1-yard line to give the Rams a 7-0 lead.

The 49ers’ defense got tough in the second half as Fred Warner and Nick Bosa registered huge third-down sacks from Stafford.

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