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:
YAC 💯 Pass blocking 💯 Route running 💯
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) November 25, 2020
Most yards after catch since 2019 (WRs):
1. Cooper Kupp – 955
2. Robert Woods – 934
3. Keenan Allen – 779
4. Chris Godwin – 774
5. Davante Adams – 726 pic.twitter.com/lYmoiQy6aJ
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) November 25, 2020
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:
Rams Defense Since Week 4:
16.2 PPG 1st
258.3 YPG 1st
4.3 Yds/play 1st
172.8 Pass YPG 1st
5.9 Yds/att 1st pic.twitter.com/D9UEJu3WlM
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) November 24, 2020
And you can forget the big play against the Rams:
The Rams stellar secondary continued their shutdown defense on deep passes this season, limiting Tom Brady without a completion on his 6 attempts (2 INT).
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) November 24, 2020
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.
Matt Gay sank his former team in his first game with Rams: 'You can't write it' https://t.co/2Yg66Bqfqu
— Rams Wire (@TheRamsWire) November 24, 2020
Coach Sean McVay expressed confidence in Gay this week:
Sean McVay says Matt Gay provided an immediate spark at kicker for Ramshttps://t.co/4TFgLJElYW
— Rams Wire (@TheRamsWire) November 26, 2020
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.
Rams quarterback Jared Goff's two weeks in Florida – and everything in between – show that his best can come from his worst: https://t.co/llN6MSHQkW
— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) November 26, 2020
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:
What a night for the Rooks! But more importantly it’s a testament to the culture. The scouting staff for finding the right PEOPLE, the coaches for detailed teaching and the locker room for always treating our young guys like equals. More work to do, but love this team! #WeNotMe pic.twitter.com/tmZ5GOPCMb
— Jacques McClendon (@jmcc65) November 24, 2020
A big night of firsts.
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) November 26, 2020
- Congratulations to Torry Holt – hoping you get in as you deserve it!
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) November 24, 2020
- Want more good news? The Rams are good, but getting better:
#Rams improved their standings in these categories:
PPG – #19 to #17
Red Zone TD % – #16 to #12
YDs per game – #7 to #5
Opp YDs per game: #2 to #1
Opp Passing YDs per game: #3 to #2
— DOWNTOWN RAMS [DTR] (@DowntownRams) November 24, 2020
- Key Injuries:
- San Francisco:
- Questionable for this week, limited practice on Friday: Javon Kinlaw (DT, undisclosed)
- Injured Reserve, expected return this week: Raheem Mostert (RB, ankle), Mark Nzeocha (OLB, quadriceps), Richard Sherman (CB, calf), Ben Garland (C, calf), Jeff Wilson (RB, ankle), Dee Ford (DE, neck)
- Physically unable to perform, expected return this week: Ronald Blair (DE, knee – ACL), Weston Richburg (C, kneecap)
- Questionable for this week, did not practice on Friday: Dre Greenlaw (OLB, illness), Jordan Reed (TE, illness), Azeez Al-Shaair (LB, illness)
- Out for week 12, expected return week 13: Tevin Coleman (RB, knee), K’Waun Williams (CB, ankle), Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles (DB, hamstring), Tom Compton (OG, undisclosed), Daniel Helm (TE, undisclosed)
- Injured Reserve, expected return week 14: JaMycal Hasty (RB, collarbone), Johnathan Cyprien (DB, hamstring), Jimmy Garoppolo (QB, ankle)
- Injured Reserve, expected return week 16: George Kittle (TE, foot)
- Injured Reserve, COVID 19: D.J. Jones (DT, undisclosed), Jordan Willis (DE, undisclosed), Brandon Aiyuk (WR, undisclosed), Trent Williams (OT, undisclosed), Joe Walker (LB, undisclosed)
- Injured Reserve: Jaquiski Tartt (SS, toe), Ezekiel Ansah (DE, biceps), Nick Bosa (DE, knee – ACL), Solomon Thomas (DT, knee – ACL), Jalen Hurd (WR, knee – ACL), Chris Thompson (WR, undisclosed)
- Los Angeles:
- Injured Reserve, expected return this week: Obo Okoronkwo (LB, elbow)
- Questionable for this week, limited practice Friday: Brian Allen (C, knee)
- Doubtful for this week, did not practice Friday: Terrell Lewis (LB, knee), Tyler Higbee (TE, elbow)
- Injured Reserve, expected return week 14: Taylor Rapp (SAF, knee), Andrew Whitworth (OT, knee – MCL), Kai Forbath (K, ankle)
- Injured Reserve, expected return week 15: Micah Kiser (MLB, knee)
- Injured Reserve: Terrell Burgess (SAF, ankle), Justin Lawler (LB, foot), Travin Howard (LB, knee – meniscus)
- San Francisco:
- Weather at SoFi stadium is irrelevant as it will be perfect inside the best digs in the NFL.
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.