There’s nothing worse than getting embarrassed on national television, and that’s exactly what happened when the Los Angeles Rams (7-3) introduced their newly revamped roster on Monday night against the San Francisco 49ers (4-5).
Entering the game with one of the best records in the league, the Rams had a pair of big-name acquisitions in tow to try to balance out the recent loss of receiver Robert Woods for the year. Von Miller, who’s been nursing an ankle injury for weeks, was finally cleared to return just in time for Monday night’s game. And Odell Beckham Jr., who was scooped up last week after being waived by the Cleveland Browns, was ready to contribute on the field despite getting only one practice in prior to game time.
Unfortunately, neither could save Los Angeles from suffering their second straight loss in an embarrassing fashion.
After cornerback Jimmy Ward collected one of two early interceptions on Rams quarterback Matt Stafford, the Niners ate up the clock with an 18-play, 93-yard drive that concluded with a dime to George Kittle in the end zone. In the same quarter, Ward would return another interception for a touchdown, and it was all downhill from there for the Rams.
“It got us into a rhythm for sure. Nineteen plays, I think it was? That’s the way we’d want to do it,” 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo told reporters after the game. “I don’t know how many runs we had on that but, just running the ball, converting on third downs, and scoring at the end. I don’t want to say it took their soul away, but it definitely did something.”
Nick Bosa terrorized the Rams offensive line, Garoppolo was efficient and made big plays when needed, running back Elijah Mitchell pounded the rock and chipped in 91 yards on the ground, Deebo Samuel was Deebo Samuel (133 yards from scrimmage), and George Kittle was out there handing out pancakes like he was a server at IHOP.
As for the Rams, their offense was clearly out of sync without Woods on the field, and OBJ’s contributions (2 catches, 18 yards were minimal).
“This was a humbling night for us as a team, and a great opportunity for us to be able to take a deep breath, step away, look at the things that we need to correct, particularly offensively over the last couple of weeks,” Rams coach Sean McVay said.
“They played better than us in all phases of the game,” Beckham said. “They just out-played us. [...] It just wasn’t our night. There’s no way around it, it just wasn’t our night. All three phases of the game.”
That’s one way to put it.
As for Von Miller, he was able to collect three tackles but failed to disrupt the Niners’ offense by putting pressure on Garoppolo. Thankfully, Los Angeles has a bye week to correct course before facing off against the Green Bay Packers in Week 12. And OBJ knows that it’s critical that he’s able to contribute more to the offense moving forward.
“Lick your wounds and get ready for one of the best teams in the NFL, Green Bay at Lambeau,” Beckham said.