I'm still trying to really get a hold of everything that went down on Sunday. Such calamity.
You had turnovers. You had a muffed punt and all kinds of special teams weirdness. And the penalties...there was enough confusion to fill half of entire season.
I circled back with Fooch from Niners Nation to try to make some sense of it.
Me: First things first. Are referees worse than in the past? It might just be a factor of recency or the short sample size, but the Rams have been in games that have just been horribly refereed.
Fooch: It seems worse in recent years, but I also think the advent of DVR and NFL Rewind allows us to highlight things a bit more. Additionally, more and more rules get added and altered that it seems like there is more for the refs to deal with and screw up on a regular basis.
I don't like going into ref blaming because people automatically call it whining, but a team can play bad, and still see horrific officiating.
It's just week to week, the bungled calls amaze me. And the inconsistency within games...it seems like the refs are at war with themselves sometimes.
It's annoying, but at the end of the day, teams cannot put themselves in position where the refs cost them. This probably applies to good teams more than bad teams because if you're playing down to your opponent, you probably did not deserve to win anyway.
On to the game. What's the major takeaway for you guys moving forward? What's the main thing you guys need to fix heading to Nola? Is it O-line play?
The offensive line was pretty much a disaster. People want to point to play-calling, but the team could not really execute much of anything behind that line. They are working in a rookie center, so that is one thing, but the right side of the line in particular was just getting blown by all day long
The Rams blitzed on something like 44 percent of plays, but they also got 5 of their sacks with only four men coming at the quarterback. Is the Rams line coming together, or was it poor 49ers OL performance that contributed?
I think it's a bit of both. The Rams were due for some better play from the front four, but some of the pressure was just coming far too easily.
And like you said, five of the sacks came on non-blitzed plays. I noticed it early in yalls running game that the D-line was winning the point of attack and there just wasn't going to be a ton Frank Gore or Carlos Hyde could do about it. So a little from Column A, a little from Column B.
What's the general feeling on yalls side about Kaepernick's day? Obviously with the play of the line and some questionable playcalling, there are other things to point to.
Naturally the opinions range from, "He'll be fine, just give him time" to "he's a f---ing bum, he was never any good, get rid of him." As is always the case, the truth is somewhere in between. We'll see games (often just parts of games) where he can make any pass in the book. Other times we'll see moments where he can't hit the broad side of the barn. I still think pass protection is the primary problem for him, but he also struggles with consistency
I'd rather have Kap than Austin Davis...
The question is whether or not he will actually be able to find that consistency. If the line continues to struggle they will need to find adjustments in the passing game to maintain some kind of effectiveness.
Will the Rams ever actually figure out their passing game? The 49ers defense found a lot of success on Sunday, and were mostly hung out to dry by their offense.
I don't think so. Scott Wells and Davin Joseph aren't reliable enough on the line. We're going to play the rest of the season without Brian Quick who, along with Jared Cook, was the best option we had. And Austin Davis has too many limitations already.
That said, they've got to get more out of the running game. It'll take pressure off of Davis and hopefully open things underneath for Tavon.
Closing it out, what else are you taking away from the game? Anything warranting major concern or something you're pleased with that the Niners can lean on?
The only positives were the defensive rookies. Chris Borland was an absolute beat. with 17 tackles, and generally flying around. He struggled in coverage on that Britt touchdown, but otherwise was strong.
And Aaron Lynch had 5 QB pressures on 20 pass rush attempts. He is the real deal, and when Aldon Smith gets back, that duo is going to be kind of ridiculous
Lynch was a hoss his freshman year at Notre Dame. I wish we had seen him more in college. Yall got a steal there.
The Rams are now 3-5, and 2 games out of the wild card. Where do they go from here?
The Rams are too inconsistent to know. Somehow, we pulled out wins over you guys on the road and Seattle at home but dropped a 21-0 lead over the Cowboys and put up a stinker in Kansas City.
Now we head to Arizona, the flavor of the month, which obviously doesn't look favorable. Right now, it's really sad that I have to lean on a cliche, but I'm gonna do because I'm sad and I have no shame.
The Rams just have to take things week to week. If you look at the next three, @ Arizona, v. Denver & @ San Diego, it looks near impossible to get to 5-6 by the end of it. But if you just focus on one game and try to apply the positives from the Rams' two divisional wins, there's reason to think the Rams could get a W down in Phoenix. If they pull that off, the season still has hope.
Yeah, it really is "one game at a time" for the Rams. If they beat Arizona next week, they're clearly right in the thick of things. If they lose, they're not completely out of it, but in trouble
Aren't the Rams always "not completely out of it, but in trouble?"
Hahahaha, that just about sums it up.
Thanks to my man Fooch for doubling back and keeping it professional despite the quality of the referees yesterday. Blech.