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The 49ers must reverse two disturbing trends against the Chargers

With just days to go before the 49ers' Sunday Night Football game against the Chargers, you’ve probably heard about LA’s porous run defense. They’re allowing almost six yards per carry and give up an average of 145 yards per game on the ground.

During today’s Gold Diggers podcast, however, Michelle Magdziuk pointed out why that still might not be enough to leave the game with a victory.

Believe it or not, the 49ers have actually lost three out of their last five games against bottom-five rush defenses - even while dominating on the ground. The 49ers have amassed 143, 150, and 137 yards in those losses, respectively.

Furthermore, they have not been winning prime-time games lately unless they’re against one specific opponent. Jimmy Garoppolo is 2-4 in prime time over the last two seasons. He is 2-0 against the Rams and 0-4 against everyone else. As a team, the 49ers have played in 10 prime-time games since 2020. They’re 3-0 against the Rams and 0-7 against everyone else.

Why are they losing those games? First, turnovers. Jimmy Garoppolo has thrown at least one interception in all of the prime-time games against non-Rams opponents, and he’s thrown multiple interceptions in four of those games, again going back to 2021.

If this team truly is going to go on a run in the second half like they did last season, they are going to have to win in prime time and against teams that Sean McVay doesn’t coach. After this week’s game on Sunday Night Football, they head to Mexico City to play the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football. Then, in Week 15, they play in prime time again on Thursday Night Football against the Seahawks. That game could have massive NFC West implications.

As we have seen, this team is good enough to beat anyone on any stage - including themselves.