The 49ers’ 31-10 upset victory over the Rams in Week 10 didn’t just buck the narrative, but it also revealed some key takeaways for Kyle Shanahan and Co.
The San Francisco 49ers can finally say they’ve had a statement win in 2021.
This, after head coach Kyle Shanahan’s squad pulled off a decisive upset victory over the visiting Los Angeles Rams on Monday Night Football in Week 10, coming away with the 31-10 score after setting the tone early with two interceptions by safety Jimmie Ward and a 93-yard offensive scoring drive mixed in between.
From there, the rout was on.
The Niners are now back in the thick of the playoff discussion, half a game out of the seventh and final Wild Card seed within the NFC and a favorable schedule over the back half that could potentially open the door for a postseason berth.
Who would have thought that a week ago?
But there are some other key takeaways from this contest, which stress just how important the Week 10 victory was.
No. 3: 49ers must get out to early leads
As they’re constructed now, San Francisco isn’t equipped to come from behind in games, and especially not against better defenses.
The 49ers got out to a 14-0 lead, thanks to Ward’s interceptions, one of them a pick-six touchdown, and the lengthy scoring drive that culminated in a touchdown pass from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to tight end George Kittle. And by the time halftime rolled around, the Niners were out to a 21-7 lead.
That hasn’t been the trend, though.
Even including its first-half output in Week 10, San Francisco is still averaging just 11.2 first-half points per game this season, good for 15th in the league, but the more shocking stat is the fact the 49ers scored a combined 34 first-half points over their five losses this season.
That’s an average of 6.8 first-half points in those particular contests.