Gurley leads Rams over 49ers 27-6
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Todd Gurley keeps setting the tone. The St. Louis Rams’ defense kept another opponent out of the end zone.
Gurley rushed for 133 yards on 20 carries, topping 100 yards for the fourth straight start to open his career, and the Rams had three sacks and a safety in a 27-6 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
Gurley, who had a 71-yard touchdown run, is the first rookie to open his career with four consecutive 100-yard games according to STATS with data available since 1991.
Tavon Austin caught a 66-yard touchdown pass and ran for a 2-yard score, compensating for an early lost fumble.
The Rams (4-3) are 3-0 against the NFC West for the first time since 2004, and they’re above .500 this late in the season for the first time since 2006. The St. Louis defense hasn’t allowed a touchdown the last two games, permitting just four field goals.
The 49ers (2-6) were hit hard by injuries, losing Reggie Bush early, and haven’t scored a touchdown in two games. They’ve lost six of seven, are 0-3 in the division and have lost two straight to St. Louis for the first time since 2004.
San Francisco was short-handed at running back after Bush, starting in place of the injured Carlos Hyde, hurt a knee on a punt return in the first quarter. Bush slipped on concrete near the stands a week after Browns quarterback Josh McCown was shaken up sliding on concrete into a pad in front of the stands.
The losers managed 189 yards and two field goals by Phil Dawson. James Laurinaitis and Michael Brockers tackled Mike Davis in the end zone on a run for a safety.
Both teams were whistled for 93 yards in penalties. The 49ers had a very costly call when Ahmad Brooks was called for grabbing Benny Cunningham’s facemask, negating Brooks’ 41-yard return for touchdown and retaining possession for St. Louis.
Gurley was untouched on his 71-yarder up the middle in the second quarter. Defenders lost ground as he picked up speed for the score that combined with a 2-point pass to Jared Cook made it 10-3.
Austin stretched the ball across the pylon on a 2-yard run with 18 seconds to go to put St. Louis up 20-6, a score set up by Cook’s 49-yard reception after a pair of 49ers collided trying to make the tackle.
The Rams’ 3-0 start against the NFC West is their best since they won seven in a row from Nov. 23, 2003 to Dec. 5, 2004.
The last rookie with a starting streak of four straight 100-yarders at any point in the season was Edgerrin James of Indianapolis in 1999.