San Francisco 49ers beat the St. Louis Rams 35-11, proving that you should not bet against a team that is facing an opponent with one of the NFL’s ten worst defenses. The St. Louis Rams 26th ranked NFL Defense allowed 219 yards on 40 carries from the 49ers.
It was fashionable for the Zennie62 bloggers to have all selected the Rams to win because they were at home, and the 49ers walked, er, limped in to town at 1-2 and with a number of injuries and inactivations to and of key players, specifically LB Patrick Willis and DE Aldon Smith. But it turns out the 49ers are deep, so much so that neither player was missed.
Rookie DE / LB Corey Lemonier from Auburn filled in well for Aldon Smith, playing the role of edge defender, and making several important solo stops. And what can be said about Navarro Bowman except that the Penn State grad has emerged into one of the best inside linebackers in today’s game, and that showed against the Rams.
These Rams are not the St. Louis Rams under Dick Vermeil that scared the hell out of opponents with their Mike Martz-designed passing offense called “The Greatest Show On Turf.” Instead, it must be said that the Rams aren’t getting the best from third-year QB Sam Bradford from Oklahoma. Lacking a well-designed, truly varied passing offense, and a running game that seemed to consist of one play, the off-tackle run, Bradford was 19 of 41 for 202 yards.
The Rams Offense design looks like something lifted from a Pee Wee Football team. There are high school and certainly college offenses more varied and effective in design. Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer should be fired after this game.
On defense, the Rams inability to stop the 49ers running game is obviously based on how they’re coached: two-gapping, or asking a defensive lineman to hold their position and basically be blocked with the idea of controlling two gaps, is not the way to stop the 49ers – yet that’ the way the Rams are coached. It leads to them getting pushed all over the field, and the 49ers racking up big gains.
So the 49ers should consider themselves lucky to draw an opponent with clear coaching problems. They’re at 2 and 2, but not out of the woods yet.