Another Rams loss has been added to a storied rivalry. The San Francisco 49ers traveled to SOFI Stadium to take on the LA Rams for a week eight divisional matchup. San Francisco came out on top with a 31-14 win in a game that got away from LA in a hurry. The Rams led 14-10 at halftime, and it looked like they might end the streak, but it wasn’t to be, as the 49ers winning streak vs. LA moved to eight straight games. But in a Rams loss, there are still a few takeaways.
Takeaways From Rams Loss: DC You Later
Even in a 17-point blowout, there are still a few Rams takeaways to highlight. The first one is bad. The number one takeaway for me is Raheem Morris isn’t it at Defensive Coordinator. It’s obvious right now that his scheme does not fit the personnel. Yes, I know; he helped LA to a Super Bowl win last season; the defense this season allowed under 15 points in the previous five contests. That’s fine and good, but the fact is his defensive scheme has allowed far too many drives to be sustained in essential situations.
During the game on Sunday, Greg Olsen was heard on commentary questioning the setup for the defense. It’s obvious to a former tight end that the scheme isn’t going to work. Morris should see the same thing. The soft zone that Morris likes to use has defensive backs playing at least 10 yards from the receiver they’re lined up on. This causes an issue because good offenses pick the defense apart with screens and underneath passes. The tackling of the Rams defense has also been sub-par in the last few games as well. Allowing teams underneath completions and not being able to tackle the receivers will kill a defense.
Greg Gaines and Leonard Floyd both played outstanding last season. For whatever reason, they’ve been MIA for the first half of the season. In return for that, the pass rush has suffered—the Morris-led defense posts league lows in pressure rate and pressures. Morris’ refusal to adjust during games has proven costly for LA. Coach McVay no longer has that safety blanket of a consistent defense, just in case his play-calling isn’t executed correctly. McVay has to be almost perfect each drive, and without good run blocking, he can’t do that.
Takeaways From Rams Loss: Time=Money
Cooper Kupp played outstanding yet again today. Even though he failed to reach 100 receiving yards for the second straight game, Kupp was the star of the Rams offense, catching eight of 12 targets for 76 yards and a touchdown. He left with an ankle injury late and hopes to be alright for next week. Allen Robinson has started to find his groove. Robinson caught five of seven targets for 56 yards in Sunday’s loss.
It’s no coincidence that since Stafford had had time to throw the ball in the last two contests, he’s found more than just Kupp to target. The offensive line protected Stafford, and even though he suffered two sacks, the Rams offense looked pretty good in the first half. He was putting together long drives and scoring on a 17-play drive to get the scoring started. The problem still lies within the run-blocking for LA.
The Rams loss can be partially attributed to the running game. The rookie Ronnie Rivers wasn’t as impressive as he could’ve been; Darrell Henderson only had four carries which is unacceptable. LA rushed 21 times for 56 yards. This means the offensive line is still an issue in the run blocking. This season, Rams running backs are being hit in the backfield on 49% of their attempts. Once you give up a lead and can’t run the ball, teams with great pass rushes will pin their ears back, playing the run on the way to your QB. Your offense becomes one-dimensional and predictable.
Takeaways From Rams Loss: 49ers Are Kryptonite
With another Rams loss to the 49ers, that makes eight losses in a row in the regular season. Since 2019, San Francisco has had their way with LA, but it’s not always about them beating down the Rams. The Rams have beaten themselves on several occasions. This is where the kryptonite comes into play. In 2019, LA lost a fumble, turning into points for San Francisco. The Rams never recovered.
The next game, LA, held the lead late in the game but couldn’t get off the field in key situations. The defense allowed multiple 3rd and long conversions on the game-winning drive for San Francisco. A missed field goal in the third quarter by Greg Zuerlein was the difference between a Rams loss and overtime. In 2020, their first meeting was a 24-16 Rams loss. Cooper Kupp dropped an easy touchdown pass late in the game that later turned into an interception. The cycle continues twice a year every time the 49ers come up on the schedule.
The Rams continue having issues with the 49ers but there’s still positives to takeaway from the loss. A Rams loss does not signal the end for this team’s season in the slightest. LA gets Tom Brady and the Bucs next week.
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