After any win in the NFL, it's custom to give out a couple of game balls to the players whose performance led to the victory.
But while the 49ers ripped the division-rival Los Angeles Rams 31-10 on Monday night at Levi's Stadium, coach Kyle Shanahan didn't give out any mementos after the game. Why you might ask? Simple.
“Nobody, we didn’t give any game balls out," Shanahan said after the game. "I would have gave one to everybody if we did. We need to start to expect some more games like that. We got to make sure that to be better or worse next week, and we got to make sure we're better.”
The 49ers dominated the Rams from the opening kick Monday night. Safety Jimmie Ward picked off Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford on the first possession and the 49ers promptly marched 93-yards in 18 plays, taking a 7-0 lead on an 8-yard touchdown pass from Jimmy Garoppolo to George Kittle.
On the Rams' next possession, Ward intercepted a pass that bounced off the arms of Rams tight end Tyler Higbee and returned it 27 yards for the touchdown.
And the rout was on.
Entering the game at 3-5, the 49ers knew their backs were against the wall and that a loss would be a massive hit to their postseason hopes.
After the win, Shanahan expressed how proud he was of his team for fighting while also noting he expects more performances like the one Monday night going forward.
"Just told them how proud of them I was," Shanahan said of his message to the team after the win. "I said we got a short week. I think we got a real good team [Jacksonville Jaguars] ahead of us. That's how we expect to play. It's been long overdue, and we've got to make sure that we take a day off. Those guys rest, come back healthy on a short week, make sure we keep it going forward."
At 4-5, the 49ers are right back in the thick of the NFC playoff picture. But they have to build on Monday night's beatdown of the Rams. Otherwise, it will all be for naught.