Monday Night Football will feature two NFC West rivals as the defending Super Bowl champions will travel to San Francisco to take on the San Francisco 49ers. Only the Rams have a 2-1 record in the division, while every other team, including the 49ers, has a 1-2 record.
- Date: Saturday, October 3rd at 8:15 PM ET/5:15 PT
- Venue: Levi Stadium, Santa Clara, California
- Watch on: ESPN
Some Notes to Keep in Mind
- Will the Rams’ defense stop the running game once more?
- Which team will end up making fewer mistakes as the game goes on
- After getting blown out by the Buffalo Bills to kick off the season, overall, the Rams have been underwhelming in some aspects
- The 49ers should/could have been 3-0 to start the year as they lost to the Chicago Bears and a close one-point game to the Denver Broncos
Los Angeles Rams Preview
The Rams defeated the 49ers nine months ago to make it to the Super Bowl and were ultimately named champions. The Rams lost players like linebacker Von Miller in the offseason but added key players like wide receiver Allen Robinson and linebacker Bobby Wagner.
Quarterback Mattew Stafford cannot afford to be careless in this game. In the last two meetings against the 49ers, he has four total interceptions. This season he currently has four touchdowns with five interceptions.
However, the Rams have a lot of weapons on the offensive end, such as wide receiver Cooper Kupp who has 280 receiving yards this season with three touchdowns.
Tight End Tyler Higbee had 61 receiving yards on four receptions last game. If the Rams can get other players like WR Robinson more opportunities, there is no limit as to what the offense can do.
The key to winning this game has to start with the defense should the game come down to the wire. The defense struggled against the Buffalo Bills and Atlanta Falcons. However, they did well in regard to stopping the run.
The Rams’ defense looked like what we have been accustomed to last year as the secondary was lights out against Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals. Murray had 58 passing attempts but had no touchdowns to show for it. The Rams’ defense only allowed 5.4 yards per attempt.
San Francisco 49ers Preview
Around the league, many believed that Jimmy Garappolo would have been on a different team this year as the franchise gave the keys to quarterback Trey Lance. However, this will have to wait after he suffered a season-ending ankle fracture against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2.
Garappolo has a lot of ground to make up as he wasn’t really involved with the team in the preseason. When Garappolo is forced to sit in the pocket and go through his progressions, he doesn’t perform well, as the defense will easily get to him. However, when the first read is available to him, he works very well at neutralizing a pass rush.
The QB got sacked four times against the Denver Broncos last week. This main target will be wide receiver, Deebo Samuel, as he had eight targets. However, the passing yards aren’t there for the 49ers as Jimmy had 211 yards and a QBRat of just 81.3.
In his first game of the season, tight end George Kittle had only 28 receiving yards. The team will need a lot more than that to win this tough matchup.
There are really no secrets that could be kept when both teams play against each other. Kyle Shanahan’s go-to is the running game, and Sean McVay must know how to contain it. Stopping running back Jeff Wilson Jr. and occasionally Samuel is a must.
In last year’s Monday Night game against the Rams, the 49ers ran the ball 44 times for 156 yards during the 31-10 win against Los Angeles. During the NFC Championship game, the 49ers had just 20 rushing attempts for a total of 50 yards.
Trent Williams, perhaps the best offensive lineman in the league, left the game last week against the Denver Broncos. This is bad news as arguably the greatest defensive tackle of all time, Aaron Donald, will certainly take advantage of the situation.
Betting Odds & Lines for This Game
Spread: Rams: +1.5 (-110) vs 49ers -1.5 (-110)
Moneyline: Rams (+104) vs 49ers: (-122)
Rams vs. 49ers Betting Pick
This has a pretty good chance to be another low-scoring affair on Monday Night Football. In spite of this, both Kupp and Samuel have had strong games against their rivals. The under is a decent play, but by the time the game is finished, it could be 23-20 or 24-17, which is too close for comfort.
These teams will meet very soon after this game concludes, as these two are set to play on the 30th at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood. Even though it is still early in the season, rivalry games have significant implications.
Both teams have had their fair share of injuries, but I still believe the 49ers are searching for their identity as Garappolo and Kittle are back in the mix. The Rams have a solid chance to win this game outright and go to 3-1 in the season.
Free Prediction: Los Angeles Rams ML