In thrashing the Rams, the 49ers follow the blueprint of a playoff contender.


In a thrashing of the Rams, the 49ers mimicked a playoff contender’s blueprint.

After the Tennessee Titans’ win over the Rams, Los Angeles Rams legend Jim Everett issued the following message: “Teams will repeat what the AFC playoff contender did in beating the Rams.”

It didn’t take long for the San Francisco 49ers to copy Tennessee’s strategy.

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The only difference between the Titans and the 49ers was that the former won by 12 points, while the latter dominated from the start, rolling to a 31-10 victory over their bitter NFC West rival.

However, a close examination of the 49ers’ defense revealed that their approach to smacking the Rams was eerily similar to Tennessee’s.

And it was the same blueprint that Everett feared would be repeated after leading the Rams to three playoff appearances, including a 1990 NFC title game appearance against the 49ers.

Here’s a sample:

The Tone Is Set by Takeaways

On the first drive of the Titans’ victory, Tennessee went after Matthew Stafford with four-man pressure and collected two sacks, forcing an early punt.

During the first possession, there were no sacks.

Nonetheless, rushing a quartet of defenders resulted in Stafford’s early interception of Jimmie Ward.

For the @49ers defense, Jimmie Ward intercepts a deep pass! (hashtag)

https:t.coPbh7qEl7Sy pic.twitter.comgTDh4f2LGu (hashtag)LARvsSF on ESPN: https:t.coPbh7qEl7Sy

16 November 2021 — NFL (@NFL)

Defensive end Nick Bosa and defensive tackle DJ Jones were the men who forced Stafford to leave his designated plant and throw area.

Stafford was forced to redirect after Bosa gained enough penetration on the Rams’ right side, while Jones took on two blockers five yards past the line of scrimmage as Stafford looked for a comfortable spot to throw, but threw the ball into the Bay Area fog for the pick.

The 49ers then joined the Titans in scoring on the Rams’ high-powered offense on their second defensive possession.

JIMMIE WARD’S SECOND INTERCEPTION gives the 49ers a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.

https:t.coPbh7qEl7Sy pic.twitter.com6g3frhCZRB (hashtag)LARvsSF on ESPN: https:t.coPbh7qEl7Sy pic.twitter.com6g3frhCZRB (hashtag)LARvsSF on ESPN: https:t.coPbh7qEl

November 16, 2021 — NFL (@NFL)

The 49ers crowd the line of scrimmage here, but they bring four tight end screens to Tyler Higbee.

Ward snatches the bobbled football from Cooper Kupp and turns it into six points.

Nick Shook, a writer for, noticed echoes of Tennessee’s…

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