Rams vs 49ers: The Los Angeles Rams finish up a three game road trip this Sunday, as they’re set to take on NFC West rival San Francisco 49ers. The Rams will aim to do something none of the Greatest Show on Turf squads from the early 2000’s were able to do: win their first seven games to start a season.
The Rams (6-0) enter Week 7 as the last remaining undefeated team in the NFL. However, the lopsided margins of victory Sean McVay’s squad enjoyed early in the season have diminished considerably over the last couple of weeks. After squeaking out a narrow two-point victory over NFC West foe Seattle in Week 5, Los Angeles edged out Denver by just three points last week on the road. The Rams will now make their third road trip in as many weeks, this time to face the rival 49ers in a bid to keep their unblemished record intact.
Life has been much tougher for the reeling 49ers (1-5), who have now dropped four games in a row. The latest defeat was a 33-30 heartbreaker to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers on Monday night in Green Bay. The loss also snapped San Francisco’s nine-game winning streak on Monday Night Football. Regardless, it was an impressive effort from a team that has been hit hard by injuries and adversity all season. Kyle Shanahan’s 49ers will need to remain resilient as they turn their attention to the undefeated Rams at home on Sunday. The upset-minded 49ers would like nothing more than to be the team that spoils their rival’s perfect season.
Los Angeles at San Francisco
Kickoff: Sunday Oct. 21 at 4:25 p.m. ET
Spread: Rams -9.5
Three Things to Watch
1. Will Goff bounce back?
Jared Goff spent the first five weeks of the season filling up the stat sheet. But while he still managed to exit Week 6 with a victory over the Broncos, the third-year quarterback’s performance left plenty to be desired. Goff completed just 50 percent of his passes and failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time all season. It also marked the first time since Week 1 that he failed to throw for at least 300 yards, as he barely eclipsed the 200-yard mark against the Broncos. He also threw an interception.
The good news is that Goff should be able to bounce back nicely in Week 7. In his lone game against the 49ers last season, Goff completed 78.6 percent of his passes for 292 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions. The 2018 49ers pass defense ranks just 25th in the NFL, allowing 279 passing yards per game. They have allowed 14 touchdowns through the air with just one interception in six games as well. Aaron Rodgers made particularly easy work of the dinged-up San Francisco secondary on Monday night, completing six passes of 20 yards or more en route to a 425-yard, two-touchdown performance.
Goff will be without top target Cooper Kupp (knee) on Sunday. But the Rams’ quarterback should have no trouble making do with wide receivers Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks against this defense. Cooks will likely draw cornerback Richard Sherman, while Woods’ matchup against either Jimmie Ward or K’Waun Williams looks particularly promising.
2. The 49ers’ offense: the good and the bad
Despite all the injuries and hardship the 49ers have faced this season, Kyle Shanahan’s offense continues to fight the good fight. Quarterback C.J. Beathard and running back Matt Breida are just two examples of players who have stepped up to give their all. Beathard has averaged close to 300 passing yards and two touchdowns per game since taking over for the injured Jimmy Garoppolo, while Matt Breida is averaging an NFL-best 6.8 yards per carry in Jerick McKinnon’s stead. George Kittle has been solid at tight end as well. And wide receiver Marquise Goodwin finally broke out with 126 receiving yards and two scores against Green Bay.