5 lessons 49ers can learn from Super Bowl champion Rams

Cooper Kupp #10 of the Los Angeles Rams (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Cooper Kupp #10 of the Los Angeles Rams (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams
Matthew Stafford #9 of the Los Angeles Rams (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

49ers Super Bowl lesson No. 1: Quarterbacking matters

On the surface, Kyle Shanahan told reporters the reason why the 49ers drafted Trey Lance as part of the plan to move on from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was due to the frequent injuries Garoppolo had suffered over the span from 2018 through 2021.

The harder reality, though, was Garoppolo might classify as one of those signal-callers who’s good enough to get a team like the Niners deep into the playoffs, potentially even reaching a Super Bowl (see 2019), but not good enough to carry a team to a championship.

Matthew Stafford/Joe Burrow might not be in the pantheon of the NFL’s five-best quarterbacks going right now. But both should be viewed as superior to Garoppolo, especially in terms of big-play abilities in the game’s biggest moments.

Case in point, Stafford that final 15-play, 79-yard drive that culminated in the go-ahead touchdown to Cooper Kupp in the fourth quarter.

In contrast, Garoppolo’s fourth-quarter implosions during both Super Bowl LIV against the Kansas City Chiefs and then against the Rams in the NFC Championship game highlighted one crucial element San Francisco was missing from its offense: a game-changing quarterback.

The 49ers hope they’ll get that in Lance, yet the offseason and eventual deployment of Lance as the team’s QB1 will ultimately serve as the full judge and jury.

But if Super Bowl LVI revealed anything to the Niners, it’s that effective quarterbacking matters.

A lot.

Next. Ranking 49ers' top 10 playoff games in franchise history. dark