49ers vs. Rams: 2 reasons why Niners win, 2 reasons why they lose

Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /
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Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) hit by Los Angeles Rams defensive end A’Shawn Robinson (94) Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Reasons why 49ers lose to Rams in Week 4

One of the reasons why Denver was so successful against Jimmy Garoppolo and the Niners offense in Week 3 was due to adding an extra defensive lineman in the box, effectively taking away San Francisco’s rushing attack and daring Garoppolo to throw.

Aside from the 49ers’ second drive, it worked. The Niners had issues getting their ground game working, and Garoppolo was certainly not equal to the task.

Why would LA do anything differently?

Rams force Jimmy Garoppolo to throw, 49ers offense still struggles

Jimmy G dropping back to pass more than 25 times in a game isn’t a typical San Francisco recipe for success. And with Los Angeles’ defense already doing a good job against the run this season, allowing just 3.8 yards per carry, it might not even take an extra D-lineman to force the 49ers to rely heavily on Garoppolo’s passing efforts.

What’s been a disjointed offense for the 49ers this season anyway could result in yet another lackluster performance versus the Rams, too, particularly with All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald facing backup left tackle Colton McKivitz instead of another All-Pro in Trent Williams (ankle) leading to plenty of blind-side pressure on Garoppolo.

Both in Week 3 and during the NFC Championship game last year, all it’d take is one fourth-quarter mistake from Jimmy G to put the Niners in a bad situation.

49ers can’t contain Rams WR Cooper Kupp

From 2017 through 2020, All-Pro wide receiver Cooper Kupp was notably quiet against San Francisco.

All that changed in 2021, however.

Kupp’s three games versus the 49ers last season resulted in 122 yards, 118 yards and 142 yards with three touchdowns, the latter yardage total coming from the NFC Championship where he essentially took over LA’s offense.

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Granted, the Niners may be better equipped to defend Kupp this year with cornerback Charvarius Ward in tow. But that doesn’t remove the chance of Kupp being yet another potent threat.

If Kupp trends more towards the lackluster efforts he had against San Francisco prior to 2021, the 49ers stand an excellent chance of winning on Monday night.

However, if Kupp goes off as he did in his last three games against his NFC West rivals, the Niners could easily wind up falling to 1-3.

Both teams square off on Monday, Oct. 3 at 8:15 p.m. ET.

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