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49ers’ current adversity makes Rams’ loss to Steelers sting even more

San Francisco suddenly seems vulnerable atop the NFC West

Pittsburgh Steelers v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Fans of the Los Angeles Rams may still be feeling the sting from this past weekend’s loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Some are likely lamenting the anemic offensive performance in the fourth quarter. Many are probably struggling to come to terms with the questionable spot by officials after a Kenny Pickett QB sneak that was very favorable to Pittsburgh. All likely are disappointed in the final outcome and the idea that Los Angeles dropped a winnable game to what at times seemed like an inferior team.

As if you needed someone to rub salt into the wound after just a few days, the Rams’ NFC West division rival San Francisco 49ers have now dropped two games in a row and are dealing with serious adversity—including QB Brock Prudy entering the NFL’s concussion protocol in a short week following a game on Monday Night Football. If the Rams wouldn’t have lost to the Steelers and fell to a 3-4 record on the season, they would have been in a position to potentially make the 49ers pay for their recent shortcomings.

And Purdy isn’t the only 49er that has an injury concern. WR Deebo Samuel (shoulder) and LT Trent Williams (ankle) have been absent in recent weeks. RB Christian McCaffrey played Monday against the Minnesota Vikings, but he’s managing what seems to be a painful oblique injury.

Suddenly the team atop the NFC West looks vulnerable just a couple of weeks after it seemed they were going to run away with the division. After starting the season 5-0, San Francisco is staring down the barrel at three-game losing streak amid the uncertainty surrounding Purdy. If Purdy proves unavailable this weekend against the Cincinnati Bengals, veteran Sam Darnold would be the next man up. It’s notable that San Francisco traded highly drafted quarterback Trey Lance to the Dallas Cowboys after a preseason where he failed to win the primary backup job.

Meanwhile the Rams are set to play the Dallas Cowboys on the road. Dallas gave LA fits in their matchup last season, coming out on top 22-10.

The Rams have a lot riding on this upcoming game.

Lose and they’ll find themselves at a disappointing 3-5 record and likely outside any realistic chances at making the postseason. Win and they keep their hopes alive as they enter a favorable stretch of their schedule that features games against the Green Bay Packers and Arizona Cardinals. Or will we look back on the Rams’ Week 7 loss to the Steelers as the point their season got away from them?