There are seemingly few things San Francisco 49ers star Deebo Samuel can’t do on the football field, but he’s apparently pretty good at talking smack off of it as well.
Fresh off a 27-24 overtime win over the Los Angeles Rams that catapulted the 49ers into the playoffs, Samuel wasn’t afraid to let LA know that the place they call the “Rams House” seemed pretty lukewarm for the home team.
Deebo Samuel takes a shot at Los Angeles Rams fans
LA has never been known as a hotspot of NFL passion, which is why it what somewhat surprising when the league decided to place two teams inside of SoFi Stadium and call it their home, the Rams and Chargers.
Money, and the ability to make more of it, of course, played a factor in bringing the Rams back to LA. There were also historical ties to the city. Newer NFL fans likely think of the Rams and associate them with St. Louis, but the franchise had been in LA from 1946-1994 before moving to the midwest.
Still, there’s a lot to do in LA that doesn’t revolve around football. It’s always going to be hard to steal attention away from the Lakers, and that’s not even mentioning beaches and the Hollywood lifestyle.
It’s not a surprise, then, that SoFi wasn’t necessarily bleeding blue and yellow in Week 18.
From his perspective, Samuel felt that Rams fans were so underwhelming that the organization had to turn to fake noise to pump the crowd presence up.
“I feel like the Rams pump noise because there wasn’t that many Rams fans there,” he said after the game, according to Nick Wagoner.
San Francisco 49ers fans showed up in force
It will be tough and likely ultimately fruitless to try to prove that the Rams were pumping in noise at SoFi. It is much easier to prove that the 49ers faithful showed up in a big way, though, because the sea of scarlet, white, and gold was more than noticeable.
Every time the 49ers made a big play on offense, there was a noticeable roar that came from the crowd. The presence of 49ers fans was especially felt when the team was on defense, though.
Whenever the Rams were facing a third-down situation, it almost sounded like they were playing at Levi’s Stadium.
It was so noticeable that LA quarterback Matthew Stafford even admitted that the offense was having a hard time communicating, which is almost unheard of when talking about an offense in front of its home crowd.
“It was a tough environment for us to communicate in, really, the whole second half,” Stafford said, via Cameron DaSilva.
49ers fans didn’t have a whole ton to cheer for in the first half when LA jumped out to a 17-0 lead that the 49ers cut to 17-3 with a field goal heading into halftime. The 49ers roared back in the second half to tie the game at 17, though, and then the two teams traded touchdowns to ultimately send the game to overtime.
Robbie Gould won the game for San Francisco with a field goal and punched the 49ers a ticket to the playoffs.
Samuel will be the 49ers X-factor in the playoffs
Samuel showed off his full repertoire against the Rams, and you can bet that head coach Kyle Shanahan will find more creative ways to get him the football now that the 49ers are in the big dance.
He caught four passes for 95 yards against the Rams, averaging an explosive 23.8 yards per grab. He also rushed eight times for 45 yards and picked up a touchdown on the ground.
Samuel probably won’t be replacing Jimmy Garoppolo just yet, but he did also show off some decent arm strength as well, taking a jet sweep and pulling up for a pass to Jauan Jennings that went for a 24-yard touchdown.
He can do it all for the 49ers, and he’ll undoubtedly be priority No. 1 for the Dallas Cowboys defense, a unit that features athletes and playmakers from the trenches to the secondary. For as important as getting Samuel involved will be for the 49ers, stopping him will be vital in order for the Cowboys to win and advance.
The 49ers and Cowboys will meet in round one of the NFC Wild Card. The 49ers have the sixth seed, and the Cowboys boast the third. The game will be played at 4:30 p.m EST on Sunday, January 16th.