Catch that Thursday night game? Yeah, for the points scored it wasn’t all that interesting until the fourth quarter, but I’m not here to hate. Instead, I’m here to tell you the Los Angeles Rams have suffered another blow, and it’s not to the win/loss column. Multiple outlets have reported that pass-rusher/linebacker Clay Matthews suffered a broken jaw and is out for a month.
So scratch him from 49ers-Rams a week from today.
This hurts the Rams. While Matthews is on the other side of 30 (33 years old), he was making himself quite the productive pass rusher. He’s already got six sacks on the year and forced a fumble. There’s no denying he can still get to the quarterback.
And so, the San Francisco 49ers are given a bit of a break when they face the Rams in Week 6. Matthews has made a career causing havoc in the backfield and the loss of him might give Jimmy Garoppolo a bit more time to get through some reads to get the ball out. Then again, Garoppolo was fine getting flattened against the Pittsburgh Steelers. While I’d like the line to buy him juuuuust a few more seconds to avoid that, it’s not like he had issues when Pittsburgh blitzed the hell out of him.
On the other hand, if the 49ers beat the Rams in LA (which is doable, but I still am leaning towards the Rams at this point), the Rams now have an excuse as to why the 49ers beat them. Matthews isn’t Jared Goff or Todd Gurley, but he’s a crucial part of the defense. A defense that has been getting beat up as of late when he’s in there and giving up an average of 25.6 points per game. Will those numbers climb further? We’ll have to see next week.
Then again, maybe this helps the Rams. While Matthews has been disruptive, so have the officials who have kept him on the wrong side of numerous roughing the passer calls. Some of them are warranted, most of them are egregious, and he’s been a magnet for yellow laundry since 2018 when officials got super ticky tack on when you hit the quarterback. Yes, it’s protection and yes, it’s a different league, but a lot of these were just strange.
I guess we’ll see what this does to the Rams defense.