Second verse, same as the first
With the Rams trailing by just eight points and clearly watching as quarterback Matthew Stafford got pounded in the first half, the Rams would surely be interested in changing up the offensive tempo, right? After all, the Rams had scored just six points, and with each point on the scoreboard, the 49ers made the Rams pay by bringing down Stafford.
The fifth sack of the game and the first of the second half on Stafford occured just after the Rams were able to run the ball on fourth down and one yard to go by getting RB Cam Akers through the hole behind RG Alaric Jackson for four yards. In the very next play, Stafford felt pressure from Nick Bosa, weaved his way through traffic, and was tripped up by Bosa just as Warner closed in.
Sack: Joe Noteboom
The sixth sack of the game occured as the 49ers’ defensive front stunted once more. On the play, right defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway took an outside move to engage Rams left tackle Joe Noteboom but then leveraged his inside angle to take the direct path to quarterback Matthew Stafford. Meanwhile left guard Bobby Evans never got his footing under him, and literally was backed up and fell over Matthew Stafford again. On the play, RB Cam Akers offered no help as he slid to the right.
Sack: Joe Noteboom
On the seventh and final “sack” of the game, the Rams were down by 15 points with less than two minutes to go. There was no quarterback sack whatsoever. Samson Ebukam hit Stafford’s hand as it went back. The ruling on the field was a fumble. and the 49ers recovered.
Since Matthew Stafford was never in the grasp, this sack should have been recorded simply as a fumble and not a strip sack.
So what did we learn about the Rams against the 49ers? The 49ers have a way of making the Rams’ offense do exactly what they want them to do. When the football was thrown, it was either to Kupp, to Higbee, or thrown in such a way that making a catch would be awfully spectacular. Did the offensive line struggled against the 49ers? Of course.
But TE Tyler Higbee, RB Cam Akers, and the play-calling did them no favors. The Rams’ offensive line, with only two of five starters, was tasked with protecting QB Matthew Stafford, who threw for 73 percent of the offensive plays. Huh?
The 49ers could blitz and run stunts because, even without knowing what the play would be, they would have nearly a 75 percent chance of calling the right defense. In the end, the Rams never adjusted a single thing to give the team a chance to win this game. And as we have found out, the Rams are getting blown out in the second half by a margin of 41 points in just the first four games.
If you need an excuse? Sure, blame the offensive line. But if are seeking answers? There is more to it than one or two players’ performances. If you want a solution? Well, now you’ve asked the right question. What that means I don’t know. But whatever the Rams are doing right now is clearly not working.