The Los Angeles Rams are headed to Levi Stadium on Saturday night to take on the San Francisco 49ers in a West Coast matchup in primetime. The 49ers are -6.5 point favorites even after coming off of a dreadful loss to the Falcons. This is likely because the Rams are coming off of an absolute thrashing at the hands of the Cowboys last Sunday.
Change from Last Year
These two teams have reversed roles from last season where the Rams dominated for most of the season and eventually lost to the Patriots in the Super Bowl. The 49ers on the other hand struggled with young and injuries and they ended up with the second overall pick.
Just a season later, the 49ers are poised to be back in the playoffs and the Rams will be eliminated after a loss or a Vikings win in either of the last two weeks. This is not a great season for the Rams due to their roster construction and their aging team, but they are still 8-6 at the end of the day.
The 49ers commitment to youth has finally begun to catch on and pay off and it is evident watching this team all over. Kyle Shanahan has been one of my favorite coaches for the last 4 or 5 years and he is finally shining through with a roster full of talent and they are utilizing very interesting things to be successful.
The use of multiple running backs with an elite tight end as both a run blocker and a pass-catcher has made the 49ers offense very unique. This scheme and recent ability to thrown the ball downfield to emerging target Deebo Samuel and the addition of Manny Sanders has made the 49ers offense look like one of the best in the entire league at times and the Rams should have their hands full on Saturday night.
I think that Jimmy G has been a bit streaky this season and it has caused some ups and downs in the 49ers passing offense, but he does have the ability to flash for an entire game, as he showed vs. the Saints a few weeks ago. The Rams have talent in the secondary and they should not get overwhelmed by the talent at receiver for the 49ers, as it is a general weakness from a top-end talent perspective. My biggest concern about this game is the Rams recent struggles to stop the run.
Last week, we saw Zeke and Tony Pollard break tackles and run for over 240 yards on this defense and the 49ers will really try and test this run game on Saturday night. They have not had too many issues running all season and this matchup sets up poorly for a Rams team that lost by 13 earlier in this matchup while holding the 49ers to just over 2 YPC.
For the Rams, it all comes down to pass protection against a vicious 49ers front that again features some youth with DROY favorite Nick Bosa on the edge. The Rams have relied on elite pass blocking and almost always using 3 wide receiver sets throughout their recent run of success and that might not work anymore. The Rams have really struggled to block elite defensive lines this year and Jared Goff has been dreadful in these games.
In the matchup earlier this year, Goff threw for 78 yards and was sacked 4 times. This must be resolved if they want any chance of scoring on a consistent basis, which they’ll need to do to win this football game.
I expect to see more plays where Gurley and Higbee block instead of run routes, but that is not really something that they do super often. The Rams will need to deviate from their own tendencies to win this game.
The 49ers are almost a touchdown favorites here -6.5, but I am rolling with them at home on a short week. The Rams were just physically dominated last week and I think that we will see them cave after the 49ers hit them in the mouth again. I love the 49ers here -6.5. Take San Francisco at our favorite pay per head bookie site RealBookies.com
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