We know that the LA Rams have struggled in recent history to defeat the San Francisco 49ers, and their starting quarterback Jimmy Garropolo. That’s not just a pattern of bad luck. The 49ers love to attack the middle of opposing defenses, and until now, that was the last place that the LA Rams invested dollars on their roster. Well, until now, that is.
In 2022, the LA Rams broke their tradition of ignoring the middle of the defense. Well, built upon breaking that tradition. In 2021, the Rams drafted South Carolina inside linebacker Ernest Jones, because he played such a similar style to that of Seattle Seahawks veteran inside linebacker Bobby Wagner. The Rams loved Jones’ grit, ferociousness, and ability to be in the right spot to make the play.
The Rams loved it so much that the following year, the team signed on the original. And that is how Bobby Wagner came to be on the LA Rams roster.
Bobby Wagner beats Garoppolo
We know that the LA Rams face the San Francisco 49er this week. Over the course of the regular season, 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo boasts a 6-0 record against the LA Rams. In fact, his only loss against the Rams occured last year in the NFC Championship Game. While that may be something to build upon, it’s still quite an uphill battle.
But how has he performed against Bobby Wagner’s old team, the Seattle Seahawks? In those games, Garoppolo is just 2-5, thanks in larger part to the play of Bobby Wagner in the middle of the Seahawks defense. Now, Wagner brings his prowess to the LA Rams defense just in time to set the stage for a huge showdown. Can Garoppolo beat the LA Rams again? Or will Bobby Wagner frustrate Garoppolo once more?
Don’t be shocked if the 49ers do not claim a win this time.
Bobby Wagner tackles too
The LA Rams are no longer the team that tries to keep everything in front of them, allowing the 49ers to run the ball incessantly to control the clock and win. The LA Rams now have a stout run defense, and a huge tackling machine in the heart of their D.
And that spells troubles for the 49ers.
In the past four contests, Bobby Wagner has averaged nine tackles, 0.5 quarterback sacks, 1.25 quarterback hits, one tackle for a loss, and 0.5 passes broken up. The LA Rams typically get huge production out of their inside linebackers, but due to the nature of their players, they have no continuity at the position.
In the past four games, the 49ers have rushed the ball 145 times, or an average of 36.25 times per game. That does not include all of the passing routes aimed at the inside linebacker, whether it was Micah Kiser, Troy Reeder, or Travin Howard. Inevitably, the 49ers got the Rams ILB out of position, moved the chains, and controlled the clock.
Some believe that defending against 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will fall upon the shoulders of the Rams secondary. I’m not convinced that is true. The San Francisco 49ers’ lone victory this year, ironically at the expense of the Seattle Seahawks, occured when they ran the ball 45 times for 189 yards and two touchdowns. So far this year, Jimmy Garoppolo has thrown 31 of 50 times for 365 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception.
To beat the 49ers, the LA Rams will need to stop the run. And LA Rams Bobby Wagner? The Week 4 stage is set for you to do your thing.