LA Rams innovative ‘Big Nickel’ defense haunts 49ers to this day

Mandatory Credit: Photo by David Madison/Getty Images)
Mandatory Credit: Photo by David Madison/Getty Images) /
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Entering their fourth game, the LA Rams are 2-1.  Still, there is no denying that the next game on Monday Night Football will have a huge and long-lasting effect on the Rams 2022 NFL season. You see, the Rams face their NFC West Divisional rivals, the San Francisco 49ers.

Beating the 49ers in San Francisco hasn’t come easy to the LA Rams in recent years. In fact, the Rams are winless in their last three visits to Levi’s Stadium.

Home advantage is one reason why the Niners own a 75-68-3 advantage in one of the NFL’s most underrated rivalries. It wasn’t always this way, though. There was actually a time when the Rams knew how to win in the Bay Area.

Ironically, this time occurred when the 49ers’ dynasty was at its peak at the end of the 1980s and leading into the ’90s. The days when 49ers quarterback Joe Montana, wide receiver Jerry Rice, and running back Roger Craig made the West Coast offense into the type of juggernaut that opposing teams feared.

This offense helped the 49ers win four Super Bowls in less than a decade, but there’s a hidden truth about this era. It concerns which team gave the Niners of Bill Walsh and George Seifert the most problems.