Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

16 observations from the 49ers win over the Rams

Marc Adams
Oct 31, 2022 at 10:42 AM--

It's Halloween, and the San Francisco 49ers continued their haunting of the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. The 49ers spooked the Rams enough that Sean McVay elected not to even try anymore, running the ball on third and long, even though there were still about five and a half minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. At this costume party, the 49ers went as superheroes, while the Rams went as their usual—clowns. And not the scary kind.

The team everyone expected the 49ers to be returned in the second half. And the Rams showed that they are still who we knew they were—a dirty team that talks a lot when they're ahead, but then turns on each other once they get down. Comparing the 49ers and Rams is like comparing a Snickers bar to candy corn. One wins every time and is the destination of trick-or-treaters everywhere. The other is stale, bland, makes you want to throw up, and will get rocks thrown at your house.

After a so-so first-half offensive performance, and a horrible defensive first half, the 49ers came out in the second half and completely dominated the Rams. The 49ers team we saw in the second half is scary, and they should give opposing coaches nightmares in the weeks to come. Here are my observations:

  • The 49ers' offense opened with Jeff Wilson, Jr. and Christian McCaffrey both in the backfield. McCaffrey ended up moving to the slot before the snap. I like having McCaffrey in the backfield with another running back.
  • San Francisco missed a great scoring opportunity on its first drive when Jimmy Garoppolo underthrew Ray-Ray McCloud, who was open deep. McCloud could have made a better effort to catch the ball, but it would have been a tough one to haul in. And I like how Garoppolo seems more willing to push the ball down the field.
  • The 49ers' defense had a 3-and-out to start the game, but then gave up a 17-play touchdown drive to follow. The third drive of the game was a 9-play touchdown drive. The 49ers defense was in shambles in the first half and was getting gashed by screen passes. Nick Bosa referenced this after the game and said they had to make some adjustments so they could start getting after the quarterback.
  • There were two defensive pass interference calls against the 49ers on that 17-play drive. Both were inside the 5-yard line. The 49ers were making it tough on the Rams near the goal-line, but those penalties kept giving Matthew Stafford & Co. new life. The 49ers committed only three penalties the entire game. Two of them came on that long drive.
  • The McCaffrey touchdown pass to Brandon Aiyuk was a great play call by Kyle Shanahan. And great execution by the two players.
  • I'm starting to think Arik Armstead and Emmanuel Moseley are even better than we thought they were. The defense hasn't looked the same without them.
  • McCaffrey does it all. And he does it all really well. He had a passing, receiving, and rushing touchdown in this game.
  • I like how Shanahan is using McCaffrey out of the backfield. Garoppolo looks like a different quarterback when he has a safety outlet like that.
  • The 49ers' defense couldn't get off the field in the first half. And it was very concerning. Thankfully, they made adjustments at halftime.

  • Sometimes you have to be a little lucky.

  • Ross Dwelley deserves some love. He played fullback and had a huge 4th quarter reception to essentially put the game away.
  • Garoppolo was really good on Sunday. Other than the almost-interception he threw, he was on point. This was the highest completion percentage (84%) in a game for a 49ers QB (with 20 or more attempts) since Steve Young.
  • Aaron Banks is becoming a good offensive lineman. Mike McGlinchey isn't.
  • Turns out Shanahan's offense is really good when the QB plays well, and you have a weapon out of the backfield like McCaffrey. And all this happened without Deebo Samuel. Imagine the possibilities when he returns.
  • In the first half, the 49ers' offense kept the team in the game while the defense was struggling. San Francisco had eight total possessions in the game. They scored on five of them (4 TDs, 1 FG), including the last drive, which was just three runs meant to run down the clock. They committed no turnovers and gained 7.1 yards per play.
  • The coaching staff made great adjustments at halftime. That was a pleasant change.

Now the 49ers have a chance to heal up over the bye week and come back strong for a run toward the postseason. Keep winning and things should work out. I still don't think the Seattle Seahawks are much of a threat.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


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