The San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams will face off in an NFC West battle on Sunday. The 49ers are coming off a disappointing loss to the Seattle Seahawks, while the Rams are coming off a dominant win over the Arizona Cardinals. This should be a close game, but the Rams have the advantage thanks to their strong defense.
1. How the San Francisco 49ers can beat the Los Angeles Rams
The San Francisco 49ers need to focus on getting pressure on Rams quarterback Jared Goff. The 49ers can do this by blitzing and using their strong defensive line. They also need to take advantage of the Rams’ rusty offensive line. The Rams have not been able to protect Goff well this season, so the 49ers need to exploit that weakness.
On offense, the 49ers need to run the ball with RB Carlos Hyde. Hyde is a physical runner who can wear down the Rams’ defense. He should be able to find room to run against a Los Angeles defense that has been struggling against the run all season long.
If the 49ers can execute these gameplans, they should be able to beat the Los Angeles Rams and get back on track in their push for a playoff spot.
2. Previewing the San Francisco 49ers vs. Los Angeles Rams matchup
Both teams have struggled on offense this season, but the 49ers have been especially bad. They currently rank last in the NFL in total offense, averaging just over 300 yards per game. The Rams haven’t been much better, but they do have some playmakers on offense that the 49ers lack.
Defensively, both teams are solid. The 49ers rank 12th in the NFL in points allowed per game, while the Rams are 14th. This could be a low-scoring affair, as both teams will likely be focused on stopping the run and making life difficult for their opponents’ quarterbacks.
The key matchup to watch will be between the two offensive lines. If the 49ers can’t keep quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo upright, it’s going to be a long day for them against a strong Los Angeles defense. On the other side of things, if Jared Goff can’t get time to throw against San Francisco’s pass rush, he could also find himself in trouble.
3. Keys to victory for the San Francisco 49ers against the Los Angeles Rams
- The 49ers must establish the run early to take pressure off of Jimmy Garoppolo and the passing game.
- The defense must apply consistent pressure on Jared Goff and force him into making mistakes.
- Special teams could be a deciding factor in this game, so the 49ers will need to be solid in all phases of kicking and punting.
4. A history of the rivalry between the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams
The Rams and 49ers have been rivals since the 1950s when they were both in the NFL. The Rams originally were based in Cleveland, but moved to Los Angeles in 1946. The 49ers joined the NFL in 1950 as an expansion team.
The two teams met for the first time in 1951, with the Rams winning 24-14. They would go on to win 14 of the next 15 meetings between the two teams.
The rivalry really heated up in 1979 when both teams met in the NFC Championship game, with the winner going on to Super Bowl XIV. The Rams jumped out to a 21-3 lead, but then watched as San Francisco came back to win 28-27 on a last-second touchdown pass from quarterback Joe Montana to wide receiver Dwight Clark. The play became known as “The Catch” and is considered one of the most iconic moments in NFL history.