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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: 5 Takeaways from Week 4

Hell broke lose last week. Now the 49ers lead NFC West.

The 49ers defense limited the defending champion Rams to just three field goals to give their team a 24-9 victory. Here are the five takeaways from Monday night's wi.

1. The Curse continues for the Rams.

Sean McVay became the youngest head coach in the history of the NFL to win a Super Bowl last year. A young, intelligent and charismatic figure who is the force behind the Rams went down for the seventh straight time in the regular season to the 49ers. McVay is smart enough to spearhead a mission to Mars but fails in bizarre ways to his off-the-field friend Kyle Shanahan. The '22 Rams are not as strong as they were in '21. The 49ers had to play without their linchpin left tackle Trent Williams, and yet Aaron Donald did not make a significant impact all night. The two teams are set to meet again in Week 8, which might put the Rams out of the NFC West title race.

2. The hitchhiker

Last week, Jimmy Garoppolo forgot how to ride a bicycle. He featured in the "How not to Play QB for Dummies" documentary, which Dan Orlovsky must have enjoyed watching. A week later, Garoppolo meant business. He played a game of what precisely the doctor ordered for the 49ers. Do the basics right and let the star players push the offense over the fence. Out of his 239 yards, 73 percent came after the catch. He made nice throws and was determined to guide the team in a must-win game. The 49ers are playoff bound with Garoppolo as their starter if the turnovers can be avoided.

3. Javon Kinlaw

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Kinlaw made headlines during the offseason for reasons you do not want to look back upon. The former first-round pick was eager to change his fortunes after a disappointing 2021 when he missed most of the season due to an injury. Kinlaw was inactive for Monday night and remains hopeful for the next week against the Panthers. The 49ers defense has depth to cover for 25 year old, but the question about Kinlaw's future does not seem bright.

4. "Who? Who's that?"

Ever since Aaron Donald made the above comment, Deebo Samuel unleashed the beast in him against the Rams. This time around, Samuel caught six passes for 115 yards. The moment of the game came when he broke tackle after tackle to score a 57-yard touchdown. He did not look in perfect shape during Week 1 against the Bears when he fumbled early in the game, which could have changed the momentum. He found the rhythm when the 49ers needed it the most.

5. Is this the best defense?

The opposition could not score double digits for the third week in a row. The 49ers defense is arguably the best in the league right now. Talanoa Hufanga has made it a habit to deliver special packages every week. This week, the Rams had a chance to crawl back in the fourth quarter, but Hufanga jumped in front of the receiver to intercept Mathew Stafford to seal the game. His display has taken the front page, where 38 tackles (23 solo) by Dre Greenlaw has slipped under the radar.

This is a defense that can win a Super Bowl unless the 49ers offense wears them out with poor performances.