49ers win battle of the lines in season opener vs Rams


49ers win battle of the lines in season opener vs Rams

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers had success Monday night against the Los Angeles Rams’ defensive line, widely considered one of the better position groups in the league.

And how can that be?

“Because I feel like we’re one of the better offensive lines,” 49ers center Daniel Kilgore said, following the 49ers’ 28-0 victory in the season opener.

The 49ers rushed for 150 yards, and quarterback Blaine Gabbert was not sacked. Things got so bad that Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald was ejected late in the game for his part in a skirmish with 49ers receiver Quinton Patton.

“My offensive line did a great job,” Hyde said. “All week we talked about was (No.) 99 (Donald), and I thought they did a great job. They got him out of his game. He got kicked out of the game.”

The 49ers' offensive line was a glaring weakness last season. Now, it seems to be a strength, and that's even with the uncertainty over the weekend. Anthony Davis was listed as questionable for the game Monday night after missing Saturday’s practice in what coach Chip Kelly called “a misunderstanding.”

Davis was not available for comment after the game. He moved into the starting lineup at right guard in the final two weeks of the exhibition season. But on Saturday, Kelly said he made the decision to start Andrew Tiller ahead of Davis.

“As I looked at it, going through, it was really my decision and I told AD, we’d just start Tiller going into this game,” Kelly said. “We knew that was a pretty formidable front. We’ll continue to grow AD. Again, he’s missed a lot of football. And I’ll give him a lot of credit. He handled it like a professional. It was my decision.”

Davis started the first 81 regular-season and playoff games of his career at right tackle before taking a one-year hiatus last season to let his mind and body heal, he said. Davis was active for Monday's game as a backup tackle.

Tiller stepped in and drew the main assignment against Donald, who was held to three tackles and just one quarterback hurry.

“I felt like I did pretty good, but still have to watch film tomorrow and see,” Tiller said.

Tiller said he felt like he had a good training camp, but he did not ask any questions when the original decision was made to start Davis at right guard. On Saturday, Tiller said he received the news that he would be returning to the starting lineup.

“I was preparing every day that week like I was going to play, so it wouldn’t be a surprise at the end of the week,” Tiller said.

What might have been a surprise was the ease with which the 49ers dispatched the Rams in their first game after moving from St. Louis in the offseason. The 49ers converted 8 of their 16 third-down opportunities with the starters in the game. Hyde rushed for 88 yards and two touchdowns, and Gabbert completed 22 of 35 passes for 170 yards with no interceptions and no sacks.

“Their front seven is so talented, and the O-line did a great job of opening up holes for our running backs and giving me time to throw the ball,” Gabbert said.

Watch Kyle Shanahan's postgame speech after 49ers' win vs. Washington

Watch Kyle Shanahan's postgame speech after 49ers' win vs. Washington

Kyle Shanahan was quite pleased with his team's effort in San Francisco's 9-0 win over Washington on Sunday.

"We talked about making it our house, man," the 49ers coach said during his postgame speech in the locker room. "That was our house!"

It wasn't pretty, and how could it have been, given the unrelenting downpour and the mud that covered FedEx Field. But a win is a win, and Shanahan was happy to see his players get one last dip in the dirt after achieving victory.

"There was no cooler thing to me than watching 53 guys go sliding, doing angels across the field," he said of San Francisco's Slip-N-Slide procession.

The hard-fought win stood in contrast to previous successes, such as the 49ers' 24-point victory in Cincinnati in Week 2. Shanahan wanted his team to derive confidence from that knowledge, while also not losing sight of the ultimate goal.

"Guys we're just getting started, alright," Shanahan said in closing. "We can win a game in any way. We had seven starters out today. We bonded together, we'll get some back, but it doesn't matter. 

"This room, we've got something special. Let's keep this s--t going."

[RELATED: Panthers to start Allen at QB, not Cam, vs. 49ers in Week 8]

Next up for San Francisco is a home game against Carolina in Week 8. Safe to say, there won't be as much mud in that one.

Why Kyle Shanahan thinks 49ers' answers at wide receiver are on team

Why Kyle Shanahan thinks 49ers' answers at wide receiver are on team

Eight days before the NFL trade deadline, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said Monday that he does not feel as much urgency to add a veteran receiver in the middle of the season than in his previous two. 

“I think less (urgency) than we’ve had in the last couple of years because I do see that there are guys in our building that I do think the answers are here,” Shanahan told reporters Monday in Santa Clara, amid reports that the 49ers are in the market to add a wide receiver.

The 49ers played Sunday without rookie receiver Deebo Samuel, who injured his groin a week earlier against the Los Angeles Rams. Marquise Goodwin played just seven snaps before leaving with an injury Sunday. He was evaluated for a concussion but was cleared. Goodwin is not in the NFL’s concussion protocol, Shanahan said.

San Francisco also hopes to get Trent Taylor and rookie Jalen Hurd back later in the season. Both players are on injured reserve. They are eligible to return after sitting out eight games from the time they went on IR.

“It was tough not having Deebo last week and Marquise being a little bit banged up, we’ll get both of those two back,” Shanahan said. “The guys we have I still think can continue to get better. We’re still holding out hopes, too, for Jalen and Trent Taylor that they can heal up and hopefully return later this year.

“We’re always looking to improve, but I do like the guys we have here.”

[RELATED: 49ers, Raiders stand pat in power rankings following Week 7]

Tight end George Kittle is the 49ers' top pass-catcher with 34 receptions for 376 yards and one touchdown. Samuel leads the wideouts in receptions with 15 catches for 168 yards, while Goodwin has 11 catches for 181 yards. Samuel and Goodwin have one TD apiece. Kendrick Bourne had his best game of the season on Sunday with three catches for 69 yards in the 49ers' 9-0 victory over Washington.

Dante Pettis, a second-round pick in 2018, has not produced up to expectations. He has nine catches for 83 yards and one touchdown.