The Rams Fall Apart Against the Niners; Lose 14-31

As hard as it is to believe, there are silver linings to another embarrassing Rams loss to the 49ers. Chauncey Telese looks at the bad and the ugly. But the GOOD too!

Chauncey Telese
Rams Outside Linebacker Leonard Floyd Photo Credit: Brevin Townsell | LA Rams
Rams Outside Linebacker Leonard Floyd Photo Credit: Brevin Townsell | LA Rams

That absolutely SUCKED. The Los Angeles Rams had a golden opportunity, no Deebo, the Niners on a losing streak, and the Rams getting healthier. Despite all the advantages they actually played WORSE than they did when they were really banged up. There weren’t a lot of silver linings to come out of this game, in fact, the Rams practically quit in the fourth quarter (Rams Twitter quit in the second quarter), which is shameful because they had a lot going for them for a lot of the game.

Matthew Stafford had protection (With the exception of Bobby Evans starting at guard), Allen Robinson existed, and the running game had some actual push today (Not much, but every little bit helps). Defensively, things looked BLEAK and they allowed Christian McCaffrey to get a hat trick. He threw, caught, and ran in a touchdown.

This sucks and once again the shovels are out ready to bury this team. For the first time all season, it might actually be justified.

Rams Game Breakdown

After a crappy three and out on their first drive, the Rams offense found a rhythm. Matthew Stafford (187 yards) had time, more time than he’s had all year (again despite Bobby Evans playing guard), in fact, he threw no picks, ran in a TD, and threw one to Cooper Kupp (79 yards 1 TD). Unfortunately, that was all in the first half, as they didn’t put up ANY points in the second half, ZILCH, ZIP, NONE.

Weirder still, at no point, did Sean McVay use any jet sweeps or Van Jefferson AT ALL. It’s really strange because that’s what the Chiefs did last week and yet McVay once again acted like Coach Kline staring at Kyle Shanahan’s Coach Beaulieu.

They weren’t able to move the ball at times but once again self-inflicted wounds cost them. They had a chance late in the fourth but Tyler Higbee dropped a wide-open pass on third down and at that point, the Rams packed it in. Instead of trying the 4th and 2, they punted despite being down by 10. Inexcusable.

The line held up well only allowing two sacks. A huge improvement over the last 49er game. The run game added 56 yards. Which by this season’s standards is OK and yet they couldn’t get any push on the goal line.

Defensively, things got DARK. Before that though, there were SOME good things. Greg Gaines had a sack, Leonard Floyd (back from witness protection) had two sacks, and Jalen Ramsey almost got a pick. Having said that, everything else was a DISASTER. They allowed McCaffrey to beat them up just as badly as Deebo Samuel usually does.

They kept allowing 90-yard drives comprised almost entirely of slants. Jimmy Garoppolo had a lot of time for most of the game. Apparently, against the Niners, the Rams tackle as if the Niners were covered in Astroglide. Ernest Jones had a HORRIBLE late-hit penalty (he also missed open tackles) that set up the game-clinching 24-yard McCaffrey touchdown (the Niners would score again soon after putting the game away for GOOD).

The Rams not only had a dropped pick but they had two fumbles that absolutely were gifted Niners bounces. They were 5-9 on third down so that didn’t help either. The Raheem Morris Bend-Don’t-Break defense usually works despite what Rams twitter thinks but against THIS team it plays right into their hands.

This game also demonstrated why they need a pass rusher more than ever. Should they trade more picks for one on Tuesday? Maybe, but then again, this could be a time to play it safe.

The second half of this game was the nadir of what that Rams can be and once again their rock bottom goes deeper than the basement in “Barbarian” (not a spoiler). The first half showed what they could be on a good day. Keep in mind, despite all the awfulness, they didn’t have any turnovers so it still could’ve been worse.

The rest of the NFC is still a tire fire so outside of the Chiefs the rest of their schedule does have a lot of winnable games. The Niners are want to play like crap outside of their two guaranteed Rams wins a year so they haven’t solved everything yet. Health is still trending upward as their line will get better as the year goes along and eventually they’ll discover Van Jefferson and jet sweeps are a viable option.

So as much as Rams twitter wants to trade everyone for picks and forget that this team actually did win a title last year, things aren’t over yet. It’s super dark now, darker than it’s been all season, and yet because of the way the rest of their godforsaken conference has played (outside of Philly) they can still make the playoffs. It’ll take a lot of work to do it and it won’t always be pretty but if they beat Tampa next week everything will actually be ok. Until then, fans can wallow in their self-loathing and cry SOSAR into their hard seltzers. You’ve earned it.

Rams Outside Linebacker Leonard Floyd Photo Credit: Brevin Townsell | LA Rams
Rams Outside Linebacker Leonard Floyd Photo Credit: Brevin Townsell | LA Rams