49ers can laugh about Rams falling in NFC West picture

Head Coach Sean McVay of the Los Angeles Rams and Head Coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Head Coach Sean McVay of the Los Angeles Rams and Head Coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /

Earlier this season, the 49ers were absolutely floundering while the Rams were among the hottest teams in the NFL. Well, the tables have turned.

Only a few weeks ago, the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams appeared to be on two entirely different trajectories.

The Niners just parted ways with one of their high-profile NFL Draft picks in recent years, wide receiver Jalen Hurd, after continuously hoping he’d be able to overcome the regular rash of injuries he had suffered since 2019.

At the same time, Los Angeles continued its “all in” approach by acquiring former Cleveland Browns superstar wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. And that move was preceded by another NFL traded deadline acquisition, future Hall of Fame EDGE Von Miller, who helped prompt the idea the Rams were targeting nothing short of a Super Bowl victory this season.

This tweet, too:

Ironically enough, both Miller and Beckham made their Rams debut in Week 10 against San Francisco, a game many thought would be a blowout.

Well, it was. Just not on the side most of those pundits predicted.

The 49ers pulled off a one-sided 31-10 victory on Monday Night Football that week in front of a prime-time audience, and head coach Sean McVay’s squad hasn’t won a game since. And that particular loss was followed by another ugly performance against the Tennessee Titans, too, turning what was once a 7-1 Rams team into a 7-4 record entering Week 12.

Now, the 6-5 Niners, winners of three in a row, are trailing their NFC West rivals by only a single game in the NFC playoff picture.

The tables have indeed turned.

What are the 49ers witnessing with the Rams anyway?

While it’s the time of year when teams start watching the scoreboard, there are a lot of deeper issues at play here for McVay and Co. Sure, some may argue San Francisco “broke” the Rams with such a dominant victory back in Week 10, but one might make the case there’s a little more.

At least according to one league source, who admitted the following to FanSided NFL insider Matt Lombardo.

“They have too many veteran players and made too many moves too quickly,” the source said. “A dream team doesn’t always lead to success.”

Perhaps those blockbuster moves shook up the locker room, altering what could be fragile chemistry with any team in the hunt. On top of that, while Beckham is an unquestioned star, acclimating to McVay’s innovative and complex offense isn’t going to be easy, and Los Angeles is still hurting after losing fellow wide receiver Robert Woods, responsible for so much more than just receiving, to a season-ending injury earlier in the season.

That’s something an AFC scout also admitted to Lombardo, too:

"They’re too heavy in big names and star players. The problem is, their depth is lacking. …McVay’s a part of their issues right now, too. There’s no doubt he’s bought into his media image."

The Rams do have a potential “get right” game against the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 13, but road games against the Arizona Cardinals, Minnesota Vikings and Baltimore Ravens could prove to be awfully tough.

Plus, there’s that Week 18 regular-season finale against the 49ers, too, and head coach Kyle Shanahan seems to have had McVay’s number as of late, having won all five of the last two contests between these two teams.

Another victory over Los Angeles would surely give Niners fans another reason to laugh some more.

Next. 5 things 49ers must do to make playoffs this season. dark