49ers dominate time of possession, rout Rams

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JIMMY Garoppolo threw two touchdown passes and the San Francisco 49ers played keep-away en route to a resounding 31-10 victory over the Los Angeles Rams on Monday night at Santa Clara, CA.

Deebo Samuel caught a touchdown pass and rushed for another score and George Kittle added a touchdown reception as San Francisco (4-5) held the ball for 39 minutes, three seconds. Jimmie Ward recorded two interceptions and returned one for a touchdown as the 49ers beat the NFC West-rival Rams for the fifth straight time.

Matthew Stafford completed 26 of 41 passes for 243 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions for Los Angeles (7-3), which dropped its second straight game. Tyler Higbee caught a touchdown pass for the Rams.

Odell Beckham, Jr. caught two passes for 18 yards while playing sparingly in his first game since joining the Rams. Cooper Kupp matched his season high of 11 catches, good for 122 yards.

Garoppolo completed 15 of 19 passes for 182 yards as San Francisco won at home for the first time in five attempts this season. Los Angeles dropped to 4-1 on the road.

The 49ers outgained the Rams 335 yards to 278 while winning for just the second time in their past seven games. Samuel had five receptions for 97 yards and rushed five times for 36 yards, and Elijah Mitchell gained 91 yards on 27 carries.

San Francisco set the tone quickly after Ward grabbed his first pick of Stafford just 2:03 into the game.

The 49ers possessed the ball for 11:03 while navigating 93 yards on 18 plays. San Francisco ran the ball 13 times and Garoppolo went 5-for-5 passing, including an 8-yard touchdown pass to Kittle with 1:54 left in the quarter.

Just 65 seconds later, the 49ers held a 14-0 lead. Higbee failed to catch Stafford’s short pass and the ball caromed to Ward, who returned the pick 27 yards for a touchdown.

Los Angeles got on the board with 13:16 left in the half when Stafford tossed a 10-yard scoring pass to Higbee. The 49ers answered with another marathon excursion, and Samuel scored on an 8-yard run to cap an 11-play, 91-yard drive that took 7:52.

San Francisco increased its lead to 24-7 on Robbie Gould’s 50-yard field goal with 4:38 remaining in the third quarter. The 49ers put the game away in the fourth quarter when Garoppolo teamed with Samuel on a 40-yard touchdown on fourth-and-6 to make it 31-7 with 11:07 left in the contest.

The Rams’ Matt Gay kicked a 37-yard field goal with 3:48 left. — Reuters