Preview of Week 12 Matchup – The San Francisco 49ers versus the Los Angeles Rams: Four Point Stance

by Rick Harriman
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The San Francisco 49ers (4-6) travel to SoFi stadium to face the NFC West division leading Los Angeles Rams (7-3) on Sunday, 11/29 at 4:05 PM ET.  This is the second game between these two the season with the 49ers winning the first match 24 – 16.

1st Stance: Offense

The 49ers are 1-3 since last seeing the Rams in week 6 and the offense looks different due to injuries.  Last matchup, Jimmy Garoppolo had a great day, going 23/33 for 268 and 3 TDs, 0 INTs.  His favorite target, George Kittle, had 7 catches for 109 yards and a TD.  Unfortunately for the 49ers, neither will be available on Sunday.  Nick Mullens has thrown for 776 yards, 4 TDs and 3 INTs in the 3 weeks leading up to the week 11 bye.  The run game over those three weeks has not fared well either, only going for a total of 156 yards (average of 52 yards).  The bye week will bring back Raheem Mostert, but without the other offensive pieces, he is likely to struggle.

The Rams in the same span are 3-1.  Jared Goff has 1,253 yards, 6 TDs and 4 INTs since week 6 and looks to have control over the offense.  Last week his dynamic duo of Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods helped him make history while he added TDs to a pair of rookies in Cam Akers and Van Jefferson:

 

The 49ers are at partial strength on offense, the Rams are not and are playing very well over the past several weeks – advantage Rams.

2nd Stance: Defense

Since week 6, the 49ers defense has played one good game and that was against the Patriots in week 7.  Since that time, they have given up at least 27 points per game and are giving up an average of nearly 33 points per game.  They are getting Richard Sherman back and that should help to cover some of the Rams weapons.

Since the loss to the 49ers, the Rams defense is averaging 19.5 points per game.  The Rams defense has been solid all season, particularly since week 4:

And you can forget the big play against the Rams:

The Rams have a heavy edge on the defensive side of the ball and are going to look to make up for the week 6 gaffes.

3rd Stance: Special Teams

This just in – the Rams have a kicker.  Yes, Matt Gay missed a kick in his Rams debut last week, but his kickoffs kept Tampa from running anything back on 4 of 5 attempts and he hit the game winner under the pressure of beating his former team on short notice.

Coach Sean McVay expressed confidence in Gay this week:

The boost to the kicking game coupled with the ever-solid play of punter Johnny Hekker finally gives a slight edge in the special teams area to the Rams.  The 49ers kicker, Robbie Gould, is solid and will come into play this week as the offense will struggle.

4th Stance: Intangibles

  • Coaching – Sean McVay versus Kyle Shanahan. Both came up under Jon Gruden and were on the same staff in Washington.  Both have been to, and lost, a Superbowl as a head coach.  They have faced each other 7 times, Shanahan leads with 4 wins including the last 3 – until McVay ties this up, edge to Shanahan.
  • Trend/Mojo – The 49ers are down and might not yet have hit rock bottom as they are on a 3-game losing streak. The Rams are on a 2-game win streak, both of those against top ranked teams.  Mojo heavily favors the Rams
  • Post of the week from Jourdan Rodrigue – If you are not following Jourdan, you are missing out, she is the BEST.  If you are not subscribing to The Athletic, you are REALLY missing out as she goes deep into Rams coverage that you should not miss.

It is not the tweet, it is the story – subscribe and read, you will not be sorry.

  • Odds and ends:
    • Rams rookies are coming up huge:
    • Congratulations to Torry Holt – hoping you get in as you deserve it!
    • Want more good news? The Rams are good, but getting better:

Prediction

Division games can be difficult to predict as the teams tend to know each other too well and anything can happen.  At kick off it will have been more than 700 days since the Rams beat the 49ers, but it will happen Sunday and it will not be close.  The Rams will score often and put it away early, final score will be 31 – 13.

 

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robert s
robert s
10 months ago

The coaching intangible goes to the 49ers. Shanahan has had McVay’s number for some time now. Also, they had a bye week and will get back several key players including Sherman and Mostert. Rams are on a short-short week and coming from the East Coast screws with your body clock, but I am assuming that the Rams used their bye week to prepare for this game as well. Game is likely much closer than 31-13, but I think Rams will be ready this time for the 49ers short behind the line of scrimmage passes and its run game. Mullens has… Read more »

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