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Unbeaten 49ers Face First Real Test Against Ticked-Off LA Rams

Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:10 PM
Aaron Weaver
Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:10 PM

The San Francisco 49ers were pegged to be an OK team on the rebound if they could just stay healthy. They are not content with those mediocre predictions. With a bruising run game and a healthy Jimmy Garoppolo, the 49ers have sprinted out to a 4-0 record. The only catch is they’ve coasted against weak teams with a combined 5-15 record. This Sunday, they won’t be so lucky.

Los Angeles Is Ticked Off and Hungry for Redemption

Despite having a winning record at 3-2, the Los Angeles Rams are underachieving. After losing to the Patriots in the Super Bowl last year, they planned on building on that momentum to make another title run. They’ve proven they still have it with impressive wins over New Orleans and Carolina.

After a brutal one-point loss  to division rival Seattle last week, they hope to take their frustration out on the upstart Niners on Sunday.

Will the Rams Defense Ever Wake Up?

Los Angeles has been inconsistent on defense this year, which means they’re due for a good game. After getting slaughtered for 55 points in week four by Tampa Bay, they struggled to shut down Russell Wilson and the red-hot Seattle Seahawks last week.

Led by all-world defensive end Aaron Donald, the Rams and their star-studded defense won’t stay down for too long. Unfortunately, they’ll be without all-pro cornerback Aqib Talib  and linebacker Clay Matthews. The good news is that San Francisco will be missing two starting offensive tackles  and their all-pro fullback Kyle Juszczyk.

Jared Goff Must Stop Chucking the Ball Like a Madman

jared goff, los angeles rams
The Rams are ticked off, and they’ll show up to play. | Source: Alika Jenner / Getty Images / AFP

Jared Goff has been chucking the ball like a madman this year. Unfortunately, the third-ranked QB in total yards has also been throwing it to the wrong team. Goff has seven touchdowns and seven interceptions this year. That will not be good enough to beat this Niners team.

The 49ers are ranked second in the league in passing yards allowed per game, opponent completion percentage, and opponent passer rating. Simply put, they’ve been top-notch.

But even with Todd Gurley doubtful and an overall weak running game, Goff is the best quarterback they’ve seen this year. He’ll have a stellar trio of wide receivers  at his disposal, and he’ll need to utilize them if the Rams hope to win.

49ers Run Game vs. Rams Defense

San Francisco has a whopping three running backs averaging at least 5.5 yards/ carry. They lead the league with 200 rushing yards per game. That said, three of their games have come against terrible run defenses. The only respectable defense they faced (Tampa Bay), held them under 100 yards.

While the Rams rank in the middle of the pack, Aaron Donald & co. should keep the Niners from dominating on the ground. They’ve only allowed 3.8 yds/rush this year, and with San Francisco’s offensive line in tatters, the Rams defense could be the deciding factor.

Prediction: Rams Victory Leaves the Patriots as the NFL’s Last Team to Fall

This should be a close game with key injuries on both sides. In the end, the Rams’ desperation, home-field advantage, and passing attack should give the 49ers their first loss of the season.

Rams 31, 49ers 27