LA Rams struggling early in Monday Night Football first half

Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams have flipped quarterbacks, several receivers, an offensive center, and about 50 percent of the defense, and yet, you wouldn’t know it. The Rams moved the football, turned it over with an untimely interception to the 49ers’ seven-yard line.  The 49ers drove the ball 93 yards and scored. That consumed 11 minutes in the first quarter. But the Rams were not down embarrassing themselves.

When the offense took the field a second time, the Rams passed four straight times. Almost a replica of the team’s loss to the Tennessee Titans, quarterback Matthew Stafford tried to pass once more. This time it was on and off the hands of tight end Tyler Higbee and into the hands of San Francisco 49ers safety Jimmie Ward who ran it in for the pick-six interception.

In the first quarter, the LA Rams fell behind by a score of 14-0.

In both contests, the Rams running game appears very effective. The Rams rushed just twice in this game for 16 yards. Passing? The Rams are five of eight passes for only 37 yards and two interceptions. If you had any doubt that the 49ers would use the Titans game like a template, you can rest those concerns. They not only are running the Titans game plan, but they’ve improved upon it.

NFL defenses sell out to defend the pass because they know that even if they give up an average of eight yards per run, Rams head coach Sean McVay won’t run the ball. And in this game, the Rams have already forgotten about it. So far in this game? The Rams have rushed three times for 17 yards, and passed 12 times, completing eight for 89 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions.

Compare that to the 49ers’ offense that has rushed the ball 13 times for 50 yards, and passed just five times for 38 yards and a touchdown. Early in the second quarter, the Time of Possession battle is clearly in favor of the 49ers, who have controlled the football 11:03, with the Rams only at 5:41.

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It appears like the LA Rams have shown up timid once more, while the 49ers have a very physical offensive game plan. Can the Rams recover? That’s hard to say. The 49ers’ offense is a solid balance of rushing and passing. The Rams must find a way to stop that offense. So far, nothing seems to work

Second Quarter

42. Final. 7. 51. 21