The 49ers' offense wasn't good against Denver, mustering only ten points on 267 yards of total offense in the loss. Now the offense must turn it around for an important divisional game against the Rams and a defense that held the Arizona Cardinals to just 12 points last week.
The 49ers' offense handled the Rams' defense well last season, averaging 25 points per game in their three matchups, but the Rams' defense got the last laugh in the second half of the NFC Championship Game.
Kyle Shanahan's offense will need to turn it around to beat the Rams. Here are the five players to watch on Monday night.
LT Colton McKivitz
Shanahan announced on Monday that Colton McKivitz will be the starting left tackle until Trent Williams returns from his high ankle sprain he suffered Sunday night. Interestingly, McKivitz was the third left tackle after he replaced Jaylon Moore, who played only seven snaps after originally stepping in for Williams; now McKivitz is the starter. McKivitz played 11 snaps against Denver Sunday night and allowed one pressure on ten pass-blocking opportunities.
QB Jimmy Garoppolo
Garoppolo struggled against the Broncos, completing only 62 percent of his passes for 211 yards with a touchdown and a costly interception late in the fourth quarter. Now he steps into an important early season matchup against the Los Angeles Rams. The 49ers have never lost a regular season game against the Rams with Jimmy Garoppolo as their starting quarterback. Garoppolo will need to perform better on Monday night against the Rams if the 49ers hope to extend the regular season winning streak against the Rams.
RB Jordan Mason
Ladies and gentlemen: We got our first Jordan Mason sighting in the offense. It was brief, one carry for seven yards on five offensive snaps, but Mason getting those snaps could be important. Mason appears to be the second running back after Marlon Mack didn't get an offense snap; that's an important hurdle to get over for Mason. The rookie running back could see an increase of touches, especially if Deebo Samuel gets off to a slow start on the ground.
WR Deebo Samuel
Samuel had what was probably his worst game on the ground of his career with just six yards on five carries. Those six yards are the fewest of Samuel's career in a game where he had at least five rushing attempts. Last season, running with Samuel was a new wrinkle, and the 49ers had hoped Trey Lance could be an even newer wrinkle to Samuel's excellent ground attack. But now, with Jimmy Garoppolo, there is a possibility that the Deebo run package could be more of a bug than a feature in the offense with teams knowing what to expect. Let's see how Samuel bounces back against the Rams.
TE George Kittle
Kittle had a promising 2022 debut after missing the first two games with a groin injury. The tight end had four receptions on five targets for 28 yards. While not the biggest numbers we've seen from Kittle, he was able to play 91 percent of the 49ers' offensive snaps on Sunday night. Kittle has dominated the Rams in his career with 71 receptions for 706 yards and five touchdowns in nine games against Los Angeles and with a full week of practice. Now he has a full week of practice under his belt after being limited all week during practice prior to Week 3.