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Jimmy Garoppolo's road with 49ers no longer looks glorious –– thanks to terrifying Rams defense

Alex Reimer
March 27, 2018 - 12:43 pm

It looked so promising for Jimmy Garoppolo in San Francisco. Then the Rams decided to load up and build the most terrifying defense in the NFL.

Los Angeles continued its defensive overhaul Monday, inking Ndamukong Suh to an one-year contract worth $14 million. There are lots of stains on Suh’s record, leading with his deserved reputation as a dirty player. He’s lost more than $400,000 in fines or suspensions in his career. The Dolphins reportedly cut Suh, because they wanted to reset their locker room. 

But Suh’s blemishes don’t dilute his talent. While his sack total declined in Miami –– 15.5 over three seasons compared to 36 over five seasons in Detroit –– he still ranked seventh among defensive tackles in sacks while he was with the Dolphins. Suh also played 83 percent of Miami’s defensive snaps last season.

Paired with Aaron Donald, Suh likely won’t be double-teamed at the line, either. The Rams might now have the most ferocious front-four in football –– making life miserable for opposing quarterbacks.

On top of that, the Rams acquired Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib to fill out their secondary as well. Talib, who’s qualified for the Pro Bowl in each of the last five seasons, is reunited with old defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. The veteran corner recorded six interceptions, three touchdowns, 14 pass breakups and one Super Bowl win playing under Phillips from 2015-16. 

Peters, meanwhile, is maybe the most impactful corner in the NFL. No player has more interceptions (19) or passes defended (55) since he entered the league in 2015, per NFL research.

The 49ers will be a popular playoff pick this season, because Garoppolo led them to five straight wins to close out 2017 –– including a victory over the Jaguars. San Francisco has made a big addition to its defense, too, signing Richard Sherman.

But offensively, the 49ers’ top receiving options leave something to be desired. It’s hard to see Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin breaking free from the Rams’ secondary, unless Garoppolo truly is the game’s next great quarterback.

San Francisco awarded Garoppolo the richest-deal in NFL history this offseason. It looks like Jimmy G will have to earn every penny.