As much as the Los Angeles Rams get criticized for being a losing organization, the San Francisco 49ers have been getting their fair share of shrugs from the national NFL media. To put it bluntly, they’ve been a dumpster fire for the past couple of seasons. However, much like the how the Rams play well against the Seattle Seahawks, the 49ers have recently played well against the Rams.
So, what’s going to happen on Thursday night? Well, I must warn you that the following predictions are going to be extremely lofty.
RB Carlos Hyde will be shut down for less than 60 yards
Second in the league with 7.3 yards per carry, Hyde is poised to make LB Mark Barron and LB Alec Ogletree look silly. All one needs to do is take a look at RB Rob Kelley and RB Chris Thompson run all over the Rams last week. However, I believe Wade Phillips will shore up their problems, especially since they don’t have to respect QB Brian Hoyer as much as they did with QB Kirk Cousins.
QB Jared Goff will pass for more than 400 yards
With S Eric Reid not playing due to injury and S Jaquiski Tartt questionable with a neck injury, Goff is going to let the ball fly to his for-now-underused target, WR Sammy Watkins. Coach McBae wants to get Watkins involved and this week’s matchup is a perfect opportunity to let Goff sling the ball down the field.
Zero catches for Cooper Kupp
One of the most glaring weaknesses for the Rams offense last week was Jared Goff’s insistence on forcing the ball to rookie WR Cooper Kupp. The coaching staff is going to capitalize on the idea by using Kupp as a decoy. Expect a much better day for WR Robert Woods and WR Tavon Austin, who will benefit from some open looks.
DT Aaron Donald will force a fumble that the Rams will recover
I’m calling it that the biggest play of the game will be because of star defensive tackle Aaron Donald’s instinctive skills. Not satisfied with his play last week, Donald is going to be everywhere, blowing up so many plays that the 49ers eventually get sloppy and Donald causes a fumble.
RB Justin Davis is going to break open a run for more than 60 yards
With RB Malcolm Brown not at 100%, Davis will be getting some touches on Thursday night. The silky smooth rookie is going to make the young defensive line of the 49ers look like greeters at Walmart as he sails past the defense in a thrilling TD run that seals the win for the Rams.
So, if we’re being bold, and I am every week, the Rams are going to shut out San Francisco, making a statement to the NFL: the Rams can beat bad teams. It’s not the most impressive strength, but it’s still a useful skill to have as an NFL team.
The Rams have lost to the San Francisco three times in a row, all the way back to their last season in St. Louis when they lost in overtime.
This time, the young core of defensive linemen, led by DE Solomon Thomas, will keep Gurley mostly in check, but Jared Goff is going to win the game for the Rams in the air.
Rams win, 24-0.
Bonus Prediction: Jared Goff wins NFL Offensive Player of the Week