What do the writers of Niners Empire at Stadium Rant predict will happen in this Week Four matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams?
The 49ers enter this game against their hated rivals, the Los Angeles Rams, after an embarrassing, offensive performance in an 11-10 loss to the Denver Broncos. The Rams come into this matchup with a 2-1 record after two straight wins against the Cardinals and Falcons, after suffering a blowout loss to the Buffalo Bills in the 2022 NFL season opener.
Over the past six regular-season matchups between the rival teams, the Niners are an undefeated 6-0. In those matchups, they have won by an average of 8.5 points. San Francisco has given up 18 points per game and has scored 26.5 points per game.
However, the last matchup between them was in the 2022 NFC Championship Game, where the Rams ultimately ended the six-game losing streak against the 49ers with a 20-17 win en route to their first Super Bowl championship since 1999.
There are similarities to last year’s Week Ten matchup. The 49ers, who were 3-5 at the time, were coming off an embarrassing loss to the Arizona Cardinals led by backup Colt McCoy.
The 49ers won the Week Ten matchup 31-10 and went on a 6-2 tear to end the season and make the playoffs. San Francisco cannot afford to drop to 1-3 on the season. The Rams, on the other hand, are looking for blood and want to put their up north rivals reeling to 1-3.
49ers: Niners Empire Staff Predictions and Analysis
Score Prediction: 49ers defeat the Rams 24-21
Since Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay became hired as the 49ers and Rams head coaches, the 49ers and Rams have played competitive football against each other since 2017. In eleven matchups between the teams, Kyle Shanahan has the upper hand over McVay. Shanahan is 7-4 against his former colleague.
San Francisco must win this game. Throughout the first three games of the season, a few things have jumped out. The defense is super bowl caliber. The special teams, outside of a blocked field goal returned for a touchdown in week two, has drastically improved to an elite level. The issue lies with the offense. Entering Week Four, San Francisco is averaging only 15.6 points per game.
Shoutout to the 49ers defense: 227 YPG allowed (2nd) 148.3 Passing YPG allowed (1st) 78.7 Rushing YPG allowed (4th) 12.3 PPG allowed (3rd) pic.twitter.com/qHo4MbPrY9 — OurSF49ers (@OurSf49ers) September 27, 2022
With the season-ending injury to Trey Lance, Jimmy Garoppolo has taken over, and in his first start of the season, he played the worst football in his career. We know of his shortcomings as a player. However, it is unlikely he plays as poorly as he did this week against the Rams. If he does, there should be conversations about Garoppolo and Shanahan.
No, Shanahan is not in danger of losing his job. He’s one of the better play callers and head coaches in the NFL. Shanahan is like a great hitter who slumps in baseball. He’s making solid contact but just needs a hit to fall to break out and rediscover his groove.
Receivers are running wide open and once Jimmy learns to see them, the offense and the team should go on a run.
Bold Prediction: The offense bounces back. Jimmy Garoppolo throws two touchdowns. The defense takes advantage of the Rams tackles and makes life hard for Matt Stafford. Robbie Gould kicks a 46-yard game-winning field goal at the buzzer, and the 49ers move to 2-2 on the season.
Score Prediction: 49ers defeat Rams 23-14
The 49ers are 6-0 in the regular season against the Rams over the last three years. For whatever reason, Kyle Shanahan just seems to have McVay’s number consistently. This is the perfect matchup for the Niners to bounce back.
Without Trent Williams, pass protection on the left side of the line will be key. This also means the passing game will consist of many quick plays. This could mean a lot of YAC opportunities for Deebo Samuel and George Kittle.
Third-year offensive lineman Colton McKivitz gets the nod at left tackle ahead of #LARvsSF. — San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) October 1, 2022
The defense should remain dominant as the Rams’ offensive line has regressed from last season and the loss of Odell Beckham Jr. has hurt their passing game. The Rams also don’t run the ball very well, which isn’t ideal for a mistake-prone quarterback in Matthew Stafford.
The #Rams will have two new starting guards on MNF due to injury 👀 Shelton is typically their starting OG but has been shifted to center #49ers || #FTTB pic.twitter.com/JLIHkP7blK — 𝙏𝙝𝙚𝙎𝙁𝙉𝙞𝙣𝙚𝙧𝙨 (@TheSFNiners) October 1, 2022
Bold prediction: The 49ers will win by two scores and Deebo Samuel will have at least 80-receiving yards with a touchdown. The 49ers’ defense will also force three turnovers.
Score Prediction: 49ers defeat Rams 20-17
So far, both the Niners and Rams offenses have been very lackluster throughout the season. So we can expect Monday’s game to be a defense-heavy matchup. The 49ers’ defense throughout the year has shown to be one of the most dangerous threats to opposing offenses.
Deebo Samuel will be a huge factor in the offense as we have seen him be very productive against the Rams. Los Angeles’ star defensive tackle, Aaron Donald, has talked a lot of trash about the 49ers’ offense. We can expect the offensive line to be very determined to minimize his impact. Also, Cooper Kupp will be a problem within the Rams’ offense, as always.
49er killer? Kupp’s last 3 games vs. San Francisco 👀 • 13 targets, 11 receptions, 95 yards • 7 targets, 7 receptions, 118 yards, 1 TD • 14 targets, 11 receptions, 142 yards, 2 TD https://t.co/hqC3MnqOQE — Rams Brothers (@RamsBrothers) October 1, 2022
However, he and quarterback Matthew Stafford will have a tough time against a secondary that has massively improved over the last offseason.
Bold Prediction: The 49ers defense forces at least 3 turnovers