Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


49ers vs. Rams: Five Keys to Victory and Score Prediction

Matt Andruscavage
Oct 12, 2019 at 11:20 AM0



It's Week 6 and the San Francisco 49ers remain undefeated with a 4-0 record. While it's great, like Coach Shanahan said earlier this year, "I've been 5-0 and missed the playoffs." It doesn't mean a lot yet. This week will be the most important game they have played thus far as it is a divisional game against their rivals, the Los Angeles Rams.

Both teams have injuries as they head into this matchup. The 49ers will be without cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon (foot), tackle Joe Staley (fibula), tackle Mike McGlinchey (knee) and fullback Kyle Juszczyk (knee). Tight End George Kittle (groin) is also listed as questionable, but is likely to play.

The Rams will be without cornerback Aqib Talib (rib) and linebacker Clay Matthews (jaw). Running back Todd Gurley is a game time decision with a quad injury.

Here are five keys to winning this game:

Where and When: Sunday, October 13 at 1:05 PST at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

Where to Watch: How to watch or listen to 49ers at Rams

1) Protect Jimmy Garoppolo


In other games, the number one focus has been getting to the opposing quarterback. In this game, while that is still important, it is vital that the 49ers' passing game be effective. With the injuries the 49ers have, points could be difficult to come by if the Rams are slowing the run game down and hitting Garoppolo.

This may be Garoppolo's most important game of his young career. He has not had to carry the 49ers on his back, but may need to this week. If Daniel Brunskill and Justin Skule can anchor this line and keep the pocket reasonably clean for Jimmy G, not only does this bode well for beating the Rams, but also for demonstrating tremendous depth.

If Garoppolo has the time, he will have lots of opportunities to make big plays against a potentially struggling Rams team.

2) The Pass Rush


It's no secret that the 49ers' pass rush has been dominant. This deep line has been terrific at creating pressure and making life an absolute hell for opposing quarterbacks. This week must be no different. It must make Jared Goff extremely uncomfortable, hit him often, and force him into a couple of turnovers.

We have seen some great football from this unit, but it must continue to carry the day for this defense. Another positive is Dee Ford practiced all week and should see an increase in his snap count.

3) Ignore the Injuries and Run the Ball Effectively


Kyle Shanahan's offense depends on play action passes as the defense becomes over-aggressive in trying to stop his running game. The 49ers must continue to run the ball with Tevin Coleman, Matt Breida, and Raheem Mostert.

They don't have to run for 275 yards like they did against Cleveland, but they must make the Rams respect the ground game. Expect Shanahan to run the ball as much as possible and take advantage of the Rams, who have not been as stout on the defensive side of the ball thus far in the season.

If the ground game is effective, the passing game should work very well. Another long run, like Breida's 83 yard scamper, wouldn't hurt either.

4) Don't Beat Yourself


The penalties have gone down, but this is not the game for them to rear their ugly head. The Rams are going to be a difficult opponent and they cannot afford long pass interference penalties, nor offensive ones that take away big plays.

The 49ers struggled against Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh largely due to beating themselves: not taking care of the football and penalties.

If San Francisco can take care of the football and sustain drives, it can win this game and remain atop the NFC West.

5) Splash Plays


If the 49ers are going to be a contender, they must continue to make those "splash plays". They did it last week with a long touchdown run by Matt Breida and followed that play with a huge interception. If we can get a couple of these type of plays early and jump out to a lead, we could be looking at a changing of the guard in this division.

It's time for the 49ers to make life difficult for the Rams, something they haven't been able to do in awhile. Splash plays take the air out of the crowd and bring momentum to their side. It would be especially good to see one from the two struggling groups on this team: the receivers and the safeties.

Prediction


Both teams are hobbled so injuries cannot be an excuse. The Rams are a wounded animal and are up against the wall, which is usually a formula for disaster.

Not this time. The defense will play well again and Shanahan will show his genius as he out-schemes John McVay and Wade Phillips, enabling his offense to continue to roll. The 49ers will remain undefeated and will garner some respect, but most importantly, build their confidence as a contender in this league.

49ers 23, Rams 17
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.


0 Comments

  • No Comments

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



'What's with their coach?': 49ers' Jimmie Ward feels disrespected by Rams' Sean McVay

By David Bonilla
Jul 12, 2021

Does Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay think less of safety Jimmie Ward than he should? The San Francisco 49ers defender appears to believe so. In a conversation with Grant Cohn of Sports Illustrated, the soon-to-be 30-year-old safety feels like McVay unfairly targets him, thinking he can take advantage of the veteran defensive back. The safety and beat writer remembered a matchup in 2019 when McVay tested Ward's coverage skills with several offensive players, likely thinking he could take advantage of the defender. "What's with their coach? Does he have the big head or something like (that)?" Ward told Cohn during



49ers' Jimmie Ward doesn't sound too concerned about Rams' Matthew Stafford

By David Bonilla
Jul 20, 2021

Kyle Shanahan admitted that he was frustrated by missing out on potentially pursuing Matthew Stafford in March. Instead, the Detroit Lions shipped the veteran quarterback to a division rival. The speed at which the trade went down shocked Shanahan, who thought he would have more time to get his San Francisco 49ers in the talks. "I was trying to get involved in it," Shanahan shared during a recent podcast interview with Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay and NFL Network's Peter Schrager. "Someone who had knowledge of the situation, I remember us talking to (agent Tom) Condon, just everyone, to find out when it was happening. I remember Saturday, I was so stressed



Ex-49ers CB Richard Sherman also being investigated in connection to a hit and run, per Schefter

By David Bonilla
Jul 14, 2021

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported this morning that former San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman was arrested and booked on a charge of "burglary domestic violence." ESPN later reported that a person called 911 around 2 a.m. PT and said that an adult male family member who did not live at the residence — allegedly Sherman — was attempting to force his way into the home. The intruder reportedly fought with police upon their arrival but was eventually apprehended and later booked into the Seattle Correctional Facility. Sherman's wife, Ashley, told the Seattle Times that both she and the couple's kids are fine and that no one was harmed during the



John Lynch reaches out to Richard Sherman and wife; 49ers ready to offer resources, support

By David Bonilla
Jul 15, 2021

Richard Sherman is going through a difficult situation right now. He was arrested on Wednesday morning after allegedly crashing his vehicle, then causing a disturbance at the residence of his in-laws, and eventually resisting law enforcement. Sherman was charged with "burglary domestic violence," with the "domestic violence" designation being assigned due to the cornerback being related to individuals inside the residence where the incident took place. While Sherman and officers suffered some minor injuries before the cornerback was apprehended, no one else was injured. More troubling was the


Featured

More by Matt Andruscavage

More Articles

Share 49ersWebzone