The San Francisco 49ers may have slowed their tempo and turned off “attack mode” after building a 21-6 halftime lead over the LA Rams on Sunday, but I can’t imagine that Kyle Shanahan is pleased with his offense’s second half performance. The 49ers punted on each of their first four drives and gained a total of 57 yards on those series. They finally added three points on a field goal after a 20-yard drive that started at midfield.
Added up, the Rams only allowed 99 yards in the second half of their 24-16 loss to San Francisco.
In Week 5, Los Angeles held a 20-10 halftime lead over Washington Football Team, then forced punt, punt, punt, turnover on downs, punt, punt and punt on seven second half drives. The Football Team, led by Alex Smith after a two-year hiatus, gained a total of -6 yards in the second half. No points.
In Week 4, the Rams had a 10-6 advantage over the New York Giants at halftime. The Giants had one field goal, two punts, one interception and a turnover on downs in the second half. They did gain at least 30 yards on every drive, but LA held them out of the end zone.
The last time the Rams allowed a second half touchdown was Week 3 against the Buffalo Bills. LA trailed 28-3 after a Stefon Diggs touchdown midway through the third quarter, but then picked off Josh Allen, forced a punt on a zero-yard drive, and recovered a fumble on the next three drives.
Opposing quarterbacks have a passer rating of 115.2 in the first half against the Rams, 66.5 in the second half. Teams have six passing touchdowns and no picks in the first half but two touchdowns and three picks in the second.
Teams have scored five first half rushing touchdowns against LA, none in the second half.
The Rams defense got buried early against the 49ers, giving up three touchdown drives of 75+ yards in the first half. They needed to lock down San Francisco to give themselves a chance, and they did, but it was too late to make a difference. Next week against the Chicago Bears, they’ll need to avoid the big hole to climb out of before going into shutdown mode.