Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


49ers in a must-win situation to keep playoff hopes alive

Nov 15, 2021 at 3:00 PM--


The San Francisco 49ers find themselves backed up against the wall in a Monday night showdown with their divisional rival Los Angeles Rams. The 49ers are currently third in the NFC West with a 3-5 record. On the season, they are 0-4 at home and have been outscored 185-202 in their eight games.

According to FiveThirtyEight.com the 49ers currently have an 18% chance of making the playoffs. That percentage jumps to 32% with a win, but plummets to 8% with a loss. Regardless of which playoff predictor you look at, it's safe to say this is the most important game of the 2021 season and has a huge impact on the 49ers' playoff hopes.

The 49ers will have their hands full on both sides of the ball. The Rams have the third ranked passing offense and the eighth toughest run defense in the NFL. They average 29 points per game (4th in the NFL) while allowing only 21.8 points (11th). They will also be showing off their newest additions, as wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., and outside linebacker Von Miller are set to make their L.A. debuts.

San Francisco 49ers (3-5) Los Angeles Rams (7-2)
Total Offense 365.6 YPG (11th) 399.3 YPG (6th)
Offense- Passing 252.5 YPG (12th) 296.3 YPD (3rd)
Offense- Rushing 113.1 YPD (16th) 103.0 YPG (21st)
Total Defense 338.1 YPG (10th) 348.2 YPG (11th)
Defense- Passing 206.5 YPG (6th) 248.7 YPG (17th)
Defense- Rushing 131.6 YPG (28th) 99.6 YPG (8th)
Turnovers -9 (30th) +5 (7th)


Offensively, the 49ers will need to protect the ball and take what the Rams defense gives them. Turnovers have plagued the 49ers' offense this season, but tonight there will be very little room for error. The Rams have one of the best defensive lines in the league and the trio of Aaron Donald, Von Miller, and Leonard Floyd will be pursuing quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo all game. Garoppolo will need to get the ball out of his hands quick, while moving the chains in order to establish drives and keep the Rams potent offense sidelined.

This could be a game where tight end George Kittle is able to exploit a coverage mismatch against the Rams linebackers in the middle of the field, and the 49ers will also need to be patient and persistent with their rushing attack. Running backs Elijah Mitchell and Jeff Wilson Jr will need to carry the ball early and often. The last thing Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers want to do is get into a shootout, where they will be overmatched.

On the defensive side of the ball, the 49ers will need to find a way to put pressure on Matthew Stafford, force him into making bad decisions, and limit explosive plays downfield. With a depleted secondary, the emphasis will be on the defensive line to generate a strong pass rush to alleviate the responsibilities of the coverage unit. Direct pressure up the middle from Arik Armstead and Kentavius Street will be a critical part of the 49ers defensive success.

The Rams have relied heavily on their passing game this season, but the 49ers' poor run defense will likely motivate them to feature their backs more in the game. The key for the 49ers defense will be to keep everything in front of them, and not allow the big plays.

The 2021 season has not gone the way the 49ers had planned, but it's a little early to throw in the towel. The 49ers have put themselves into a must-win situation and now it's their time to fight back into contention. Regardless of the result, we will find out what kind of team this is and how well they are able to bounce back from adversity.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.
Nobody's perfect. Did you find a mistake in this article?
Report it.





More San Francisco 49ers News



Playoff Picture: Where the 49ers stand entering Week 12 showdown with the Vikings

By David Bonilla
Nov 27

The San Francisco 49ers are entering a pivotal clash with the Minnesota Vikings this weekend. A lot is on the line for both teams, who each enter Week 12 with playoff aspirations. On Thanksgiving, the New Orleans Saints fell out of the seventh and final playoff spot after a 31-6 loss to the Buffalo Bills. The 49ers, at 5-5, took their place. That means, if the season ended today, the Vikings and 49ers would own the final two playoff spots. A loss for either team might hurt their efforts to continue playing past Week 18. "Sunday's home game against the Vikings could be a crucial pivot point that dramatically shifts the 49ers' playoff odds, which sat at 33 percent



49ers entrenched in playoff picture but are focused on winning

By Rohan Chakravarthi
Nov 28

The 49ers arguably had their biggest win of the season on Sunday, except for maybe their Week 10 win against the Rams, as they extended their winning streak to three games with an impressive outing against the Minnesota Vikings at Levi's Stadium Behind a rushing attack that exceeded 200 yards, led by rookie Elijah Mitchell, the 49ers were able to control the pace of the game following a shaky start, as they had a 15-minute time of possession advantage over the Vikings, helping them win this much-needed game. Coming into Sunday's matchup, both the 49ers and the Vikings were 5-5 and battling each other for playoff seeding, with San Francisco taking sole possession of the sixth seed in the NFC playoff rankings after the win coupled with Panthers, Eagles, and Saints



Playoff Picture: Where the 49ers stand entering Week 13 clash with Seahawks

By David Bonilla
Dec 4

The San Francisco 49ers currently sit at the No. 6 spot in the NFC playoff picture. If the season ended today, they would face the NFC South-leading Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first round of postseason play. After winning three straight and watching the division-rival Los Angeles Rams lose three straight, the 49ers find themselves one game behind the Rams, who currently sit at the No. 5 playoff spot. After last weekend's win over the Minnesota Vikings, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan was asked about his team being entrenched in the playoff picture after an impressive turnaround this season. "It's way too early to care," Shanahan responded. "I mean, you



49ers keeping their heads up after loss to Seahawks drops them in playoff seeding

By Kirk Larrabee
Dec 5

Sunday's 30-23 loss to the Seattle Seahawks caused the 49ers to fall back a notch in the current NFC playoff race, although they're not letting the loss dim their optimism for the future. The 49ers dropped from the 6-seed to the 7-seed in the NFC, right behind the 6-6 Washington Football Team, who rose to the 6-seed with a win over the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday. Here's a look at where the seeds currently stand: Arizona Cardinals (10-2) Green Bay Packers (9-3) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-3) Dallas Cowboys (8-4) Los Angeles Rams (8-4) Washington Football Team (6-6) (remaining opponents, in no order: Eagles x2, Cowboys x2, at Giants) San Francisco 49ers (6-6) (remaining opponents: Texans, Falcons,


Featured

Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone