The 49ers are coming off a brutal loss and are now faced with the challenge of facing a talented Rams team on primetime. Sound familiar? Well, it should because we have seen this same scenario play out in the last two seasons. And the good news for 49ers fans is that not only did the 49ers win both of those games, but they also were two of the strongest performances of Jimmy Garoppolo’s NFL career.
The 49ers are 1.5-point favorites on the Rams at DraftKings Sportsbook, with the total set at 42.5.
Let’s start with 2021. The 49ers had lost by double digits at home the previous week to a Colt McCoy-led Arizona Cardinals team that was without its two best players on offense. They faced the daunting task of taking on a Rams team who entered that game at 7-2 on Monday Night Football.
The 49ers responded with a resounding 31-10 win over Los Angeles, which sent a loud message to anyone watching that this 49ers team was still a force to be reckoned with. They did so on the back of what I would argue is Jimmy Garoppolo’s finest game of his NFL career. Let’s take a look at how Garoppolo fared in this game.
9.6 yards per attempt
141.7 passer rating
On the surface, those numbers might not jump off the page, but what really made this game special was how Garoppolo stepped up in the clutch on third and fourth down. To put it simply, he was outstanding in those situations. Here are Garoppolo’s numbers from 3rd and 4th down in that game.
158.3 passer rating
That included one of the better throws Garoppolo has made in his NFL career, a 40-yard touchdown pass to Deebo Samuel on 4th & 2 that effectively sealed the game for the 49ers.
That wasn’t the only time in this game that Garoppolo delivered a ball into a tight window to Samuel in a clutch spot. Earlier on a third and six from their own 41-yard line, Garoppolo threw a dart to Samuel for a 19-yard gain.
Here is the end zone angle of the same throw. It was just one of those games where Garoppolo had ‘it’ when it came to ball placement, something that is a common theme in his recent matchups against the Rams.
In 2020 we saw a similar scenario play out, with the 49ers hosting the Rams on Sunday Night Football following an embarrassing 43-17 loss at home at the hands of the Miami Dolphins.
If you remember, at the time, Garoppolo was still dealing with a severe ankle injury that he suffered in week two of that season. That didn’t stop him from coming out and delivering a clutch performance en route to a 24-16 win. These were Garoppolo’s numbers in that game
124.3 passer rating
With the exception of the NFC Championship game last season, Garoppolo has had the Rams' number whenever the two teams have met in recent seasons. Over the last four meetings, these are the totals Garoppolo has posted against the Rams.
77/114 (68% completion percentage)
8.75 yards per attempt
110.1 passer rating
The 49ers are 6-1 against the Rams in games that Garoppolo starts, and we have seen him take his game to another level against this team when they have met under the bright lights in the regular season. If there was ever a game to get Garoppolo and the 49ers offense rolling, it is this Monday Night in Santa Clara against a familiar foe.