49ers can capitalize on Rams’ own offensive struggles in Week 4

Matthew Stafford #9 of the Los Angeles Rams is pressured by Nick Bosa #97 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Matthew Stafford #9 of the Los Angeles Rams is pressured by Nick Bosa #97 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

8:15 p.m. ET. 51. 1-2. 49ers -1.5. 2-1. ESPN. Monday, Oct. 3. 42

The 49ers are having problems on offense this season, but the Rams are also dealing with offensive inconsistencies, and the Niners must take advantage.

The San Francisco 49ers didn’t think they’d own one of the NFL’s worst offenses through three weeks of the 2022 season.

But, with only 47 points scored and tied for fourth worst in the league over that timeframe, that’s exactly the case. And while head coach Kyle Shanahan can point to an unpredicted injury-related swap at quarterback from Trey Lance to Jimmy Garoppolo, combined with losing his No. 1 running back to an injury, Elijah Mitchell, an overarching theme this year has been the ineffectiveness of San Francisco’s offense.

In contrast to the 49ers’ own top-end defense, it’s certainly a disappointment.

However, the Niners look to have a “get right” game on Monday Night Football in Week 4 when the visiting Los Angeles Rams come to town. Even with LA beating San Francisco last season during the NFC Championship game, the 49ers are still 6-1 over their last seven meetings against their NFC West rivals.

Perhaps that trend continues on Monday night, and the Niners may be able to count upon Los Angeles’ own offensive issues this season.

49ers offense is bad, but Rams offense isn’t exactly great

San Francisco owns a bad offense, yes, and that’ll be a point of worry when these two teams square off.

However, entering Week 4, LA currently owns the No. 15-ranked scoring offense with 61 total points, and in terms of total yards gained, it actually ranks one spot below the 49ers (24th) with 919 accumulated yards over three weeks.

And, in terms of yards per play, Los Angeles is only marginally better with 5.3 yards per attempt in comparison to the Niners’ 5.1.

Rams head coach Sean McVay might have shifted away from a run-heavy offense in the wake of last year’s trade acquisition of quarterback Matthew Stafford, yes, but LA still wants to value this particular aspect of its offense.

To date, Los Angeles is averaging a mere 3.4 yards per rush, tied for third worst in the NFL, and this figures to match up in San Francisco’s favor, as the 49ers defense is allowing opponents to rush for only 2.8 yards per attempt, tied for second best.

Even looking at the analytics, Football Outsiders has the Rams at No. 18 in DVOA.

Not exactly the high-powered offense many thought LA could have in the wake of last year’s Super Bowl victory.

49ers can hope Matthew Stafford, Allen Robinson continue to struggle

Speaking of Stafford, he is completing 72.5 percent of his passes on the season. But his tendency of tossing interceptions isn’t exactly that far off from the Niners’ own, Garoppolo.

To date, Stafford has tossed five interceptions in contrast to his four touchdowns thrown, highlighting Los Angeles’ turnover problems where it’s lost the ball seven times, tied for fourth most thus far.

One of the Rams’ offseason moves to help ensure Stafford didn’t suffer some sort of post-Super Bowl regression was to add former Chicago Bears star wide receiver Allen Robinson.

Read More: Niners fortunate to catch struggling Rams at the right time

However, at least through three weeks, Robinson has mostly been a nonfactor with just seven receptions for 88 yards and a touchdown.

Sure, San Francisco’s otherwise stout pass defense will still have to contend with All-Pro wide receiver Cooper Kupp, who is just shy of 300 yards receiving and looking every part the Pro Bowl player he is.

But, with Robinson not making much of an impact, it’ll be that much easier for the 49ers to focus their pass-defense attention on Kupp.

Entering the game, the Niners have allowed the league’s fewest pass yards at 445. And while this came against the lowly offensive competition in the Chicago Bears, Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos, at least the recent trend seems to favor San Francisco.

Both teams square off on Monday Night Football at 8:15 p.m. ET on Oct. 3 from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

Next. 49ers vs. Rams: 5 vital matchups to watch on Monday night. dark