The Rams are poised to be a major problem for the 49ers long after Jimmy G returns

LA blasted the Niners, 39-10, in Week 7 in Santa Clara

Tommy Call
October 21, 2018 - 6:22 pm

Simply put, the 49ers played bad against The Rams; CJ Beathard wasn’t the guy he was at Lambeau Field. The offense was stagnant. The line was overmatched and there were unfortunate injuries. Even more alarming than the 39-10 shellacking is the fact that the Rams aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. The Rams are not only one of the NFL’s only remaining undefeated team, they are the fourth-youngest team in the NFL with an average age of 25.5 years old.

The Rams roster is littered with talent and youth — traits that should scare the 49ers, as Sunday's beatdown served as only a premonition of what looks like a long, dominant future for the Rams in this division.

All the Rams contributors are only on the cusp of their prime — Jared Goff and Todd Gurley are both 24 and under contract through the end of 2021 and 2024, respectively. Brandin Cooks, Cooper Kupp and Marcus Peters are all only 25. Austin Blythe and Robert Woods are only 26. Aaron Donald is the senior citizen of the group at 27. Putting a bow on the Rams corp group of young superstars is their leader, head coach Sean McVay who is the youngest coach in football at 32.

This team isn’t close to being broken up.

Say everything goes to plan for the 49ers — Jimmy Garoppolo returns healthy and looks like the guy we saw at the end of last season.

The Rams aren’t going anywhere.

Say The 49ers land a top-tier prospect in the 2019 draft.

The Rams aren’t going anywhere.

Say all the young defensive players like Ahkello Witherspoon, Reuben Foster, Fred Warner and DeForest Buckner make the next step in their development.

The Rams aren’t going anywhere. It’s a point that needs to be drilled home because on Sunday in Santa Clara the Rams proved they own not only the NFC West, but the entire conference. The 49ers will need wholesale changes to even compete with the Rams.

Making things scarier is McVay’s complete dismantling of not only Shanahan and Robert Saleh, but the rest of the league. The Rams have scored 35 more points than any team in the NFC. They also have three more wins than any other team in the conference. The Rams offense, headed by McVay, leads the NFL in rushing yards per game, passing yards per game and are second in points per game. All this with the NFC’s second youngest team.

Take all the stats out of it and McVay’s innovation as a play caller is what makes him so special. Whether it’s presnap movement to create a mismatches or his aggressive play calling style, it seems like whatever McVay does is a step ahead of everything Shanahan does.

Shanahan has been hampered with a heavy amount of injuries, but McVay’s progression as a coach in only his second has turned the gap between the two into a chasm. Remember when this was thought of as a young coaching rivalry? After Sunday’s 39-10 loss that’s an afterthought.

Yes, the 49ers don’t have the talent the Rams have, but that can’t be an excuse to end the argument between these NFC West rivals. McVay took over a 4-12 team when Shanahan was hired. Each team had flaws. Each roster was bad. Each had high picks and money to spend.

The Rams took chances and traded draft picks for playmakers like Cooks and Peters. They hit on their Day Two picks with players like Kupp. They also spent money to lock up their own in Gurley and Donald. When the 49ers were frugal in free agency, the Rams were aggressive and spent their cap space on players like Woods, Andrew Whitworth and Ndamukong Suh.

Heading into 2018, the 49ers and Rams were talked about in the same breathe — each team on the rise with the narrative that the Rams were playing for right now, while the 49ers playing the long game. There was excitement for the future of each team. So much has changed after their first game against each other this season it’s almost laughable to speak of the two in the same breathe. One team is on their way to a Super Bowl push while one team is on their way back to the drawing board.

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