49ers vs. Rams score, takeaways: Christian McCaffrey's TD hat trick powers San Francisco to big win in L.A.

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In just his second game in a 49ers uniform, Christian McCaffrey did something that had previously never been done in the franchise's 76-year history. The former All-Pro running back became the first 49ers player -- and just the fourth since the 1970 merger -- to throw, catch and run for touchdowns while leading his team to a 31-14 win over the Rams. 

McCaffrey joins Hall of Fame running backs Walter Payton and LaDainian Tomlinson and wide receiver David Patten in the history books as the only players to pull off the hat trick since the merger. The former All-Pro amassed 149 total yards on 24 touches, not including his 34-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Aiyuk that got the 49ers on the board. McCaffrey's effort was critical given that the 49ers played without All-Pro wideout Deebo Samuel, who is dealing with a hamstring injury. 

The visiting 49ers scored 24 unanswered points after trailing 14-7 midway through the second quarter. McCaffrey made a nifty 9-yard touchdown catch from Jimmy Garoppolo with 1:51 left in the third quarter that gave the 49ers the lead for good. After his short touchdown run stretched San Francisco's lead at the start of the fourth quarter, Garoppolo's 7-yard touchdown pass to George Kittle on the 49ers' next drive sealed San Francisco's eighth consecutive regular-season win over its division rival. 

The Rams struck first when Matthew Stafford's 1-yard touchdown run capped off a 17-play drive that took over nine minutes off the clock. San Francisco countered moments later when McCaffrey threw a touchdown pass Aiyuk, who led the 49ers with 81 yards on six receptions. Los Angeles regained the lead minutes later when Stafford hit Cooper Kupp for a 17-yard score. The 49ers responded with a 29-yard field goal by Robbie Gould after the Rams defense stiffened in the red zone. 

Here's a closer look at what transpired in Inglewood. 

Why the 49ers won 

Despite sharing a field with reigning Super Bowl MVP Cooper Kupp, McCaffrey was the difference-maker in this game. He ran for 94 yards on 18 carries, caught eight passes for 55 yards and threw his second career touchdown pass. McCaffrey is helping 49ers general manager John Lynch's case as this year's NFL Executive of the Year. 

McCaffrey's presence undoubtedly made things easier for Garoppolo, who had an exceptional second half that included his touchdown passes to McCaffrey and Kittle. Garoppolo threw for 235 yards on 21 of 25 passing while not turning the ball over. 

On defense, San Francisco shut down the Rams' running attack while making Los Angeles one dimensional. Led by Fred Warner (12 tackles and a sack) and Nick Bosa (three tackles and a sack), the 49ers held the Rams to just 61 yards in the second half. The 49ers held Kupp to just one catch for seven yards after halftime. 

Why the Rams lost 

Los Angeles' defense couldn't stop McCaffrey. They also struggled to contain Aiyuk, who reached the 80-yard receiving barrier for a third straight game. 

The real story for the Rams was their continued lack of offensive rhythm. The Rams couldn't run the ball, which put Stafford into too many predictable passing situations. Allen Robinson II played well (he caught five passes for the second straight game), but he alone wasn't enough to offset the Rams' lack of a running game and a third receiving option. Kupp suffered an apparent injury late in the game, with Sean McVay saying he regretted leaving the star receiver in the game at the end.

Turning point 

The 49ers had already built a 10-point lead, but the outcome was still in doubt when the Rams took possession with just over 12 minutes left. Los Angeles missed a golden opportunity to get back in the game when Tyler Higbee dropped a third-down pass that -- had he made the catch -- would have been a big play for the 49ers as there was no one within 10 yards of him. Instead, the Rams punted, and the 49ers put the game away after tight end Ross Dwelley pulled down a 56-yard catch that set up Kittle's touchdown. 

Play of the game 

McCaffrey's touchdown catch was impressive, as he managed to make a leaping catch on a play where he did not initially appear to be receiving option. But we've got to go with his touchdown pass to Aiyuk, which put the 49ers on the board after falling behind early. 

Quotable 

"It's a play a lot of people do. What makes it work is Christian's so good running on that play. We threw one to him in the third quarter -- where it wasn't a double pass -- and he got 10 yards there or so. He did a bunch of those against them the last time where he got most of those stats. When you've got a runner like that, you feel like they're going to come up aggressively, so you've got to do stuff like that and try to slow 'em down." -- 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan on McCaffrey's touchdown pass 

What's next 

The 49ers will go into their bye week with a 4-4 record. San Francisco will stay in state after their bye, as they will welcome Justin Herbert and the Chargers to town on "Sunday Night Football." 

Los Angeles will travel to Tampa Bay in a rematch of last year's thrilling divisional round playoff game. The Buccaneers, who are coming off of their bye week, are 3-5 after three straight losses, the first time in 20 years that a Tom Brady-led team has lost that many consecutive games. 

Live updates
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Rams kneel the ball down, ending the game. The 49ers win 31-14 to improve to 4-4 on the season. 

October 30, 2022, 11:11 PM
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49ers out-gained the Rams 230-61 in the first half. 

October 30, 2022, 11:10 PM
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That might do it. George Kittle pulls down Garoppolo's TD and the 49ers have a commanding 31-14 lead with 6:41 left. 

October 30, 2022, 10:54 PM
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Higbee didn't catch his bit play, but Ross Dwelley does on his 56-yard catch, as the 49ers are back in the red zone. 

October 30, 2022, 10:52 PM
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Higbee dropped a wide open pass on third down that would have been a huge play. Instead he drops it and the Rams have to punt down 10 with 9:55 left. 

October 30, 2022, 10:47 PM
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Taunting call on Robinson is going to cost the Rams 15 yards. He got up in the face of Talanoa Hufanga and did the first down point. Rams keep the first down, now they're back at their 21-yard-line. 

October 30, 2022, 10:45 PM
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McCaffrey now has a rushing, receiving and passing TD today. He's the last RB to do that since LaDainian Tomlin back in 2005. 49ers now up 24-14 with 12:07 left. 

October 30, 2022, 10:38 PM
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McCaffrey, the 49ers pass rush and the ability to run the ball are the biggest differences in the game so far. 

October 30, 2022, 10:36 PM
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49ers back in Rams territory as the fourth quarter begins. 

October 30, 2022, 10:32 PM
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Warner and Bosa combined to stuff Stafford on third down. As noted on the Rams previous drive, their lack of a running game has really made them a predictable offense. 

October 30, 2022, 10:28 PM
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CMC is the first 49ers RB with a TD pass and catch in the same game. Pretty neat considering the 49ers have had some elite RBs in their day. 

October 30, 2022, 10:26 PM
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Here's a look at McCaffrey's second TD of the day. He has 97 total yards on 16 touches, not including his 34-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Aiyuk. 

October 30, 2022, 10:23 PM
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McCaffrey makes an superb catch to give the 49ers a 17-14 lead. Great play too by Garoppolo, who threw the ball at the perfect spot. 49ers take the lead on an 11-play, 88-yard drive. 

October 30, 2022, 10:22 PM
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Aiyuk picks up his second first down catch of the drive. Aiyuk and McCaffrey having big games with Samuel out. 

October 30, 2022, 10:19 PM
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McCaffrey makes a first down catch on the next play as the 49ers back towards midfield. 

October 30, 2022, 10:16 PM
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Ray-Ray McCloud pounces on McCaffrey's fumble after he was blasted by Jalen Ramsey. Was a clean hit on McCaffrey's midsection. 

October 30, 2022, 10:16 PM
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Rams lack of a running game showing itself on that drive. The Rams about to pick up a couple of first downs but Stafford couldn't convert on third-and-six after the pass rush forced a hurried pass. 

October 30, 2022, 10:11 PM
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Allen Robinson with a clutch catch on third down to extend the Rams' first drive of the second half. Robinson has 4 catches today and 9 over his last six quarters. 

October 30, 2022, 10:06 PM
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49ers unable to capitalize on McCaffrey's long run. Ramsey nearly picks off Garppolo on second down and Garoppolo is sacked on third down. Not a great start today for Garpoolo. 

October 30, 2022, 9:59 PM
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McCaffrey starts the second half with a 25-yard run, as the 49ers are already at midfield. 

October 30, 2022, 9:55 PM
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Halftime stats 

Rams 14, 49ers 10 

First downs: Rams 12-9

Third down: Rams 5-6, 49ers 2-4

Total yards: Rams 165-138

Red zone: Rams 2-2, 49ers 0-1

TOP: Rams 17:45 

Garoppolo: 9/12, 85 yards, 2 sacks

Stafford: 17/21, 150 yards, 1 TD, 0 sacks

Kupp: 7 catches, 72 yards, 1 TD 

McCaffrey: 7 carries, 24 yards, 4 catches, 32 yards 

Rams: 15 yards on 10 carries 

October 30, 2022, 9:46 PM
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Officials rule that McCaffrey did not catch the ball, so the 49ers forced to settle for a 29-yard FG. Gould makes it, so it's a 14-10 game with a minute before halftime. 

October 30, 2022, 9:36 PM
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Sean McVay calls time as the 49ers lined up as it they were going to go for it on fourth-and-goal. McCaffrey may not have caught the third-down pass, which may be reviewed by the officials during the timeout. 

October 30, 2022, 9:33 PM
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Leonard Floyd with his second sack of the possession, setting up a third and goal for the Rams. 

October 30, 2022, 9:31 PM
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Another big run by McCaffrey sets up a first and goal for the 49ers. The trade is looking better by the second. 

October 30, 2022, 9:24 PM
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Leonard Floyd picked a good time to get his first sack of the season. He takes down Garoppolo as the 49ers are trying to get on the board before halftime. Floyd got away with a face mask, though. 

October 30, 2022, 9:22 PM
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Rams quickly re-gain the lead as Stafford hits Kupp 15-yard strike. Stafford already has 149 yards and two total touchdowns. Kupp has seven catches for 72 yards and a score. 

October 30, 2022, 9:14 PM
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Higbee back in the game. 

October 30, 2022, 9:08 PM
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