Of course, the San Francisco 49ers are not unbeatable. They have four losses this season. The simple fact is the LA Rams cannot beat them. Regardless of the 49ers’ health, record, or playoff aspirations, they simply need to face the LA Rams for everything to fall into place, for the Rams to challenge them early, for 49er HC Kyle Shanahan and QB Jimmy Garoppolo to see what the Rams are trying to do, and then adjust to it in the second half.
Yes, that’s a pretty long sentence. But the LA Rams have an incredibly long losing streak that goes beyond the fabric of time and space and must be caused by some insider’s plot to embarrass the LA Rams.
The LA Rams have no rushing offense. And if you are going to beat the San Francisco 49ers, you have to run the football. Otherwise, as the Rams have discovered (is it discovered if it happens eight consecutive games?) that the 49ers’ pass rush can open the second half teeing off on rushing the quarterback, and the Rams offensive line was unable to stop a determined 49ers’ pass rush when they needed to.
It was a familiar pattern, a game in which the Rams needed to win, but failed to. Quarterback Matthew Stafford did not throw an interception, but his 22 of 33 passes for only 187 yards and one touchdown was nowhere close to getting it done.
Same pattern, same results
The Rams completed eight of 12 passes to Cooper Kupp for 79 yards and a touchdown, and two of six to TE Tyler Higbee for 15 yards. Same pattern as the last time these teams faced one another. 18 of 33 passes to Kupp and Higbee. Surprisingly, the Rams did complete five of seven to WR Allen Robinson, but most of those targets occured in the first half when the offense was moving the football and scoring.
Scoring is something the Rams have done little of against the 49ers’ defense in the second half. Just three points, to the 49ers’ 31 points, won’t get the job done.
Some will point to the offensive line. Some to the secondary. Others will insist it’s the running backs, while still others will demand the Rams add better pass rushers. But it’s all of that, and yet none of that. This is an eight-game losing streak, folks. That means that this happened to DC Brandon Staley, to OC Kevin O’Connell, and to a host of players past and present.
This game proves that the Rams have a tough time getting a playoff berth. And now, at 3-4, they may not be that 1-2 players away that compels contenders to make trades at the NFL Trade Deadline. These Rams have too many problems for that type of fix.
In the end, this is 49ers HC Kyle Shanahan outthinking and outcoaching LA Rams HC Sean McVay. And until that changes, it’s simply two games in the schedule that should be given up as losses.