It was supposed to be a homecoming for LA Rams running back Cam Akers, who is miraculously recovered from an Achilles Tendon injury that occurred before the season started. It was Week 18, and it was a game long-awaited by fans, players, and coaches alike, a chance to finally put the San Francisco 49ers’ dominance over the LA Rams over the past three seasons to rest.
It was planned to be a Wear Blue fan event, a game where all of the LA Rams fans were asked to wear blue and fill the stands at SoFi Stadium with waves of blue to cheer on the Rams in what was the last game of the 2021 NFL Season.
But what the Rams encountered was a stadium packed with red. Rams fans sold tickets to the fans of the rival San Francisco 49ers, who flooded the stands with a sea of red.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford was having difficulty communicating with his offense, in a game that everyone expected the Rams to win, but in a game where the 49ers fans clearly showed greater support for their team.
Even so, the LA Rams seemed to have everything well in hand in the first half of the game in Week 18. And yet, by the end of the game, they failed to move the ball on offense or to stop their opponent on defense. While the social media cries to fire defensive coordinator Raheem Morris rang out loud and true once more, doing so would be no more effective than trying to treat cancer with pain medicine.
Sure, it could help ease the pain, but it won’t cure anything.
Rams must address the offense too
Perhaps I’m a dying breed of fan, one who understands that the emotional reactions of the fans’ consensus after an emotional loss are the last thing any wise NFL general manager or head coach should do. After all, the LA Rams held the 49ers to just three points in the first half, as they built a 14 point lead.
But just as the defense came out cold, so too did the offense. In fact, the offense was a pale shade of itself in this one. Must the LA Rams offense always depend on defense to win the games? After all, the Rams suffered numerous injuries to the secondary starters. And yet, this was the output from the offense in Week 18.
The LA Rams offense has only managed 34 points in two games against the San Francisco 49ers, an average of 17 points a game. That is a full ten points per game under the Rams average of 27.1 points per game in the regular season. Conversely, the San Francisco 49ers’ offense managed to put 58 points on the scoreboard against the LA Rams’ defense in two games, which is an average of 29 points per game. That is only slightly more than their average scoring of 25.1 points per game.
Let’s approach this from another angle. The San Francisco 49ers’ defense allowed 21.5 points per game, but the Rams’ offense was particularly inept in two contests, falling shy of even that mark by a full 4.5 points per game. The Rams’ defense allowed an average of 21.9 points per game. They averaged a full 7.1 points per game above that average.