The SF 49ers desperately need a win to keep pace in the NFC West, and here are five reasons why it happens versus the LA Rams on Sunday.
No matter what the perspective, it makes sense why the SF 49ers are listed as three-point underdogs to the 4-1 Los Angeles Rams, who make their 2020 return to Levi’s Stadium in an attempt to avenge head coach Kyle Shanahan’s squad eliminating them from playoff contention last December.
In many ways, what happened to the Rams last season isn’t unlike what Shanahan and Co. are going through right now. A season after losing the Super Bowl, the 2019 Rams went through their own lackluster season.
So far through five weeks, the 2-3 Niners look nothing like the NFC juggernaut that tore through teams en route to its own Super Bowl appearance last February.
Injuries have played a major factor for the SF 49ers, yes. And those alone would provide ample reason to suggest San Francisco falls to 2-4 after a presumed drubbing by L.A. on Sunday Night Football.
But to take the optimistic perspective, let’s instead look at five reasons why the Niners pull off a win over their NFC West rivals this upcoming Sunday night.
No. 5: Jimmy Garoppolo usually bounces back after a loss
OK, so what happened to quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in Week 5’s 43-17 drubbing at the hands of the Miami Dolphins on the tail of San Francisco’s Week 4 home loss to the Philadelphia Eagles doesn’t exactly quantify this statement.
But the usual trend of Jimmy G’s post-loss efforts has typically been very good. And it’s important to note Garoppolo was dealing with a high-ankle sprain last week suffered in Week 2, too.
Going back to 2019, here are Garoppolo’s numbers following regular-season games in which the SF 49ers lost:
- 2019 Week 11 @ Cardinals: 34-of-45 for 424 yards, four touchdowns, two interceptions, 115.4 passer rating
- 2019 Week 14 @ Saints: 26-of-35 for 349 yards, four touchdowns, one interception, 131.7 passer rating
- 2019 Week 16 vs. Rams: 16-of-27 for 248 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions, 71.2 passer rating
- 2020 Week 2 @ Jets: 14-of-16 for 131 yards, two touchdowns, zero interceptions, 140.4 passer rating
Granted, Garoppolo played only one half in Week 2 this year, and the Week 16 matchup versus L.A. doesn’t look great. But that would overlook those two clutch 3rd-and-16 completions he made on the Niners’ game-winning drive during the game.
Generally speaking, Jimmy G has a history of rebounding, and doing so against the Rams would be an excellent idea.
Both for the 49ers’ current situation and his own reputation.