The Chip Kelly era starts much like the Jim Tomsula era started. With a resounding win on Monday Night Football. Last year it was the 49ers manhandling the soon-to-almost-beat-Seattle-in-the-playoffs Minnesota Vikings. Last night it was the newly rebirthed Los Angeles Rams, as Chip and the Cookies stomped the piss out of a really bad looking Ram team 28-0. Jeff Fisher, as I’m sure you folks know, is not high on my list of good coaches, had the best defensive line in the game looking ill-prepared and slow. Their offense consisted of futile runs and sideways passes. Whether we were covering well, or they just didn’t take shots is up for debate, but as a whole, the defense played every minute and gave up little.
The offense is a bit of a different tale. The run game is a different animal with Carlos Hyde in there. He ran well behind what appears to be a vastly improved O line. The Rams may be an offensively-challenged unit, but their defense is no joke. They are rated as one of the top front 7s in the league. However, with Chipper’s faster-paced plays, and runs from 3 wide sets, the line was able to create nice holes for Hyde to run through.
Blaine Gabbert? Well, he had a fairly uneven game. 22-35 and 170 (1 TD) isn’t going to make anyone forget Joe Montana, but he hit passes that needed to be hit for the most part. The first half was going well, but the game ground to a halt in the 3rd quarter. LA changed their defense to take away the short passing, and the 49ers were skunked the entire quarter to the tune of -4 yards and no first downs. The saving grace was the defense shutting down LA the entire quarter as well. The point being, Gabbert got sloppy for no reason as he forced passes on bad reads, and nearly had 2 picks, including a near pick 6.
Just as inexplicably, Chipper got a little more creative and the offense started moving again. 14 points later the game was a blowout, and the Rams, behind Jeff Fisher (10 penalties for 102 yards) got demoralized, chippy, and stupid. Which led to Aaron Donald being ejected from the game for trying to behead Quinton Patton.
As for the D, well, pitching a shutout is hard in the NFL. Even with a challenged group like the LA Rams and Kasey Kaseum. The line held Gurley to 47 yards on 17 carries, and a grand total of 185 yards. They got nothing deep and everything was horizontal.
All in all, it looks like a good game to start the season. How this bodes for the 3-time-zone cross-country-trip-on-a-short-week-and-play-the-early-game-on-the-East-Coast (FUCK THE SCHEDULERS) remains to be seen, but we did this last year and it went south in a hurry.