NFL: Christian McCaffrey’s TD trifecta powers 49ers past Rams
Christian McCaffrey had a passing, rushing and receiving touchdown as the visiting San Francisco 49ers continued their regular-season dominance over the rival Los Angeles Rams with a 31-14 victory Sunday at Inglewood, Calif.
McCaffrey had a 34-yard passing touchdown in the second quarter, a 9-yard receiving score in the third and a 1-yard rushing TD in the fourth to seal San Francisco’s eighth consecutive regular-season victory over Los Angeles.
McCaffrey became the first NFL player with the touchdown hat trick since the San Diego Chargers’ LaDainian Tomlinson in 2005.
Jimmy Garoppolo was 21-of-25 passing for the 49ers (4-4) with 235 yards and two touchdowns. McCaffrey, in just his second game with San Francisco after a trade from the Carolina Panthers, had 94 yards rushing and eight catches for 55 yards.
Matthew Stafford had a rushing and passing touchdown for the Rams (3-4), going 22 of 33 in the air for a season-low 187 yards. Cooper Kupp had eight receptions for 79 yards and a touchdown for the Rams but left with 1:02 remaining after an ankle injury.
Los Angeles has not defeated San Francisco in a regular-season game since 2018, although the Rams did get the best of their rival in last season’s NFC Championship Game on the way to a Super Bowl victory.
The Rams grabbed the early 7-0 lead when Stafford squeezed into the end zone from 1 yard out to cap a 17-play, 88-yard drive. The 49ers answered immediately, finishing off a 71-yard drive when McCaffrey took a backward pass from Garoppolo in the flat and hit Brandon Aiyuk on a 34-yard scoring strike.
The Rams pushed their advantage to 14-7 midway through the second quarter on Kupp’s 16-yard reception. The 49ers pulled within 14-10 at the half on a 29-yard field goal from Robbie Gould.
San Francisco moved into the lead for good at 17-14 with 1:51 remaining in the third quarter when McCaffrey made a leaping catch along the right side of the end zone on a 9-yard pass from Garoppolo.
McCaffrey’s 1-yard touchdown run came with 12:07 remaining for a 24-14 lead and San Francisco made it 31-14 on a 7-yard pass from Garoppolo to George Kittle with 6:41 remaining.
The 49ers played without wide receiver Deebo Samuel because of a hamstring injury.
–Field Level Media