Whicker: Rams bite the dust in another tug-of-war with the physical 49ers

In the tightening NFC West, the Seattle Seahawks play San Francisco in the 15th game. The Arizona Cardinals play against San Francisco in the 16th game.

They like that.

The rams are done with San Francisco.

They really like that.

Styles make fights in professional football just like in boxing, and the Rams keep losing the boxer slugger match to the 49ers.

Maybe it’s just the way one lineman feels confident about another, even though they aren’t equal in all other weeks. Maybe it’s just a mojo throwing a defense over a quarterback.

In any case, the 49ers beat the Rams 23-20 on Robbie Gould’s 42-meter field goal, which would have been 47 meters had Jalen Ramsey not been offside.

There are four of them Consecutive wins for San Francisco in the series, and this time the 49ers came to town with 171 man games lost due to several mishaps, and with Nick Mullens as the quarterback, not Jimmy Garoppolo.

The 49ers are now 5-6, the Rams 7-4, the Cardinals 6-5 after a surprise loss to New England and the Seahawks 7-4 going into Philadelphia on Monday-evening.

“Give them credit,” said Sean McVay, Rams’s coach, with closed lips. “But if you don’t take care of the football, it doesn’t matter who you play.”

Jared Goff was the target of that sentence. Over the past two seasons, the 49ers have become powerhouses and Goff has a lot of sand in his face.

In losses, he has completed 51.8% of his passes for four touchdowns and three interceptions. His QB rating on Sunday was 52.9, after 85.7, 60.8 and 72.0. He had one fumble and two interceptions, one of which was a touchdown at the hands of rookie nose grab Javon Kinlaw.

“Just take care of the ball when you’re tackled and don’t fumble, that’s an easy one,” said Goff. “Just throw the ball where it needs to be thrown.”

However, San Francisco only got seven points from Goff’s sales, and thanks to some Godzilla moments from Aaron Donald and a 61-meter scamper from rookie Cam Akers who set up his own touchdown, the Rams led 20-17.

John Johnson then broke Mullens’ third down pass and saw Gould kick an tying field goal. The game was still on the Rams’ racket.

But Goff failed at Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp. When Johnny Hekker sailed a staircase that bounced tasty, Van Jefferson could not prevent it from becoming a touchback.

Mullens might have gotten the shakes had he gotten the snap from his own 2-yard line, and Donald’s body slaughter could have caused a safety. Instead, he was impressively cool, going 3-for-4 when he cleared the last 2:20 and allowed Gould to defeat the Rams for the second time in 11 months.

The real difference was illustrated on a fourth-and-1. Fullback Kyle Juszczyk bounced two yards (and also gave the 49ers 42 Scrabble points). The Rams never touched the ball again.

“They pushed some news to me and to Robert,” Kupp said. “They play well with levers. They play with great urgency. We could do better to open up and then go through the progression. I don’t think it has anything to do with our energy. But energy doesn’t always match execution. ”

Until Kupp caught a 30-yarder late in the third quarter, the Rams’ long play was 11 yards, then Akers showed a blowout that has long been advertised. That, and Troy Hill’s scoop-and-score of a fumble that Donald forced out, were the Rams’ two touchdowns.

The 49ers are better equipped to play a fight club game than the Rams. During this streak, they ran the ball 134 times and possessed the ball for 34 or more minutes in three out of four.

Kyle Shanahan’s outside-zone play was overwhelming at times, especially in the first half. It was known to McVay, who studied with Kyle’s father Mike in Washington. The older Shanahan won two Super Bowls in Denver and could have made it through a 1,000-yard season from your kid’s flute teacher.

Against the right matchup, the Rams can also go face-to-face. But this was too much of a contrast to Monday night’s 7v7 exercise in Tampa Bay, a 27-24 win with 100 paces.

You can exaggerate 3-point wins and 3-point losses, and the Rams haven’t lost two consecutive games this season. Panic is nowhere near as appropriate as the quest for another method of handling the 49ers in 2021, as they aren’t going anywhere except back to the weight room.

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