Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports


Week 3: Rams vs. 49ers Pregame Thoughts

Justin Wong
Sep 21, 2017 at 11:17 AM1


Los Angeles Rams (1–1) vs. San Francisco 49ers (0–2)

49ers' Kyle Shanahan and Rams' Sean McVay are two of the youngest head coaches in the NFL and now come full circle. They worked on the Washington Redskins' staff from 2010–2013. The Rams lead the NFC West with five offensive touchdowns while the 49ers are still looking for their first but boast a top-10 defense to start the season.

Key Factors

Brian Hoyer — Quite frankly, this is the last guaranteed start for 49ers quarterback Brian Hoyer as he's struggled mightily the first two games with 292 passing yards and two interceptions on a 60.7 passer rating. Hoyer was only pressured three times last week but failed to surpass 100 passing yards in a winnable game against the Seattle Seahawks. Shanahan believes in his veteran quarterback but knows the 49ers can't afford to go without a touchdown three games into the season. The 49ers are averaging 4.6 yards per play while ranking 30th in total scrimmage plays because of their inability to sustain drives. Hoyer and his receivers — notably Marquise Goodwin — need to make plays in the passing game. The offense has four field goals on 21 offensive possessions.

Battle of the Backs — 49ers' Carlos Hyde and Rams' Todd Gurley are both off to excellent starts ranking fourth (245 yards) and fifth (232 yards), respectively, in total offensive yards. I would expect a more direct game plan with both teams to heavily featured their running backs on Thursday when you consider it's a short week. Hyde is averaging 7.0 yards per carry and should have some opportunity against a Rams run defense that allowed 229 rushing yards last week.

Aaron Donald — Rams defensive end Aaron Donald is by far their best player and should be better prepared after returning to the roster last week. The rust should be off, which doesn't bode well for the 49ers' interior linemen. 49ers left guard Laken Tomlinson was an improvement over Zane Beadles but the overall play from the unit is still lacking. Don't forget about Rams edge rusher Robert Quinn either when Donald commands the double team.

Pass Defense —After 49ers free safety Jimmie Ward returned to the lineup, 49ers strong safety Eric Reid is now out with a knee injury while safety Jaquiski Tartt is working through a neck injury. I'm not quite comfortable putting rookie safeties Adrian Colbert and Lorenzo Jerome into the fold.

Believe it or not but Rams quarterback Jared Goff has been very successful throwing the ball downfield — he boasts a 146.8 passer rating on deep throws (20+yards). Rams rookie tight end Gerald Everett has been his big-play receiver which includes a 69-yard reception last week. Conversely, Goff now has a reliable option underneath in Rams rookie receiver Cooper Kupp. 49ers nickelback K'Waun Williams has been a solid plug-and-play free agent signing and will likely match up with Kupp — this should be the primary matchup to watch.

Overall Thoughts

I won't say this is a must-win for the 49ers but considering the team has failed to score a touchdown through two games and will now be in the national spotlight, you can feel the pressure from the Faithful.

Another factor to consider about the short turnaround this week is the effectiveness of the defense. Matt Maiocco noted that the 49ers' defense was on the field for 79 snaps last week. Hopefully the front seven can sustain their high level of play.

The 49ers have typically had the Rams' number in recent matchups but are now 2.5-point home underdogs by the public. I think Hoyer knows the importance of this start and rebounds for the 49ers' first victory of the season.

49ers +2.5 Under 40
Rams 17 49ers 20
  • Justin Wong
  • Written by:
    Justin Wong has been writing for the 49ers Webzone since 2017 while also running an NFC West blog and podcast called Just The West. Feel free to follow him, or direct any inquiries to @JustTheWest on Twitter.
The views within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


1 Comment

  • don
    Donald is great but he wheels back in 4 days off no preseason training camp. I don't think he will have anywhere near the energy he had last Sunday..
    Sep 21, 2017 at 11:53 AM
    0

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



49ers had 'extensive' contract talks with Trent Williams last week, per report

By David Bonilla
Jan 7, 2021

According to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, the San Francisco 49ers engaged in contract discussions with left tackle Trent Williams last week. The writer describes the talks as "extensive," explaining that coming to an agreement before the regular season's final weekend would have helped the 49ers' salary cap situation. While the discussions didn't result in a new contract for the eight-time Pro Bowl selection, it sends a clear message that re-signing Williams is among the team's top priorities. #49ers and Pro Bowl LT Trent

Read the Full Article


6 teams with better odds than the 49ers to add Deshaun Watson before Week 1

By David Bonilla
Jan 13, 2021

Despite the fractured relationship, the Houston Texans remain the favorites to have Deshaun Watson as their starting quarterback to kick off the 2021 season. However, should the relationship be damaged beyond repair, a trade could be in the quarterback's future if he chooses to force a divorce. San Francisco 49ers fans would love to see what Watson paired with head coach Kyle Shanahan would mean for opposing defenses. However, that would also mean giving up a lot in terms of compensation to acquire the young playmaker, and oddsmakers have five teams — other than the Texans — listed as more likely destinations for the disgruntled quarterback. Below are the 10 favorites to have Watson on their rosters during Week 1 of the 2021 season, per Bovada and

Read the Full Article


Decision on new Panthers GM expected this week; 49ers' Adam Peters among final 4 candidates

By David Bonilla
Jan 13, 2021

The Carolina Panthers announced that the team expects to reach a decision on its new general manager this week. This comes after the organization whittled down its list of candidates from 15 to four. San Francisco 49ers VP of player personnel Adam Peters was among the 15 to interview virtually with the Panthers and was among the four to meet in-person with team brass this week. The other three are Tennessee Titans director of player personnel Monti Ossenfort, Kansas City Chiefs assistant director of player personnel Ryan Poles, and Seattle Seahawks vice president of football operations Scott Fitterer. "Peters has the closest links to the people on the

Read the Full Article

Featured

More Featured Stories

More by Justin Wong

All Articles by Justin Wong

More Articles

All Articles
Share 49erswebzone