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Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers: Matchups to watch revisited

Let’s recap the game and see who the matchups favored

Los Angeles Rams v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

Another week, another massive win for the undefeated Los Angeles Rams.

The Rams have now improved their record to 7-0, three of which came from divisional opponents.

After the dominating performance, let’s revisit the matchups to watch and see how they fared:

CB Marcus Peters vs WR Marquise Goodwin

Last week’s matchup to watch:

After suffering an injury that looked much worse than it turned out to be, Peters toughed it out and started in the consecutive three weeks following. Two weren’t so good obviously, but the most recent versus the Denver Broncos was much better. And it comes on good timing because the Rams CB’s will play against one of the most dangerous deep threats in the league in Goodwin. On MNF versus the Green Bay Packers, Goodwin registered four receptions for 126 yards and two touchdowns. The Rams cornerbacks will need to make sure they keep everything in front as Goodwin has legitimate track speed.

Marquise Goodwin was invisible all throughout the game with two catches for 24 yards coming in garbage time. Outside of that, the only targets I recall to Goodwin were an overthrown pass in the endzone when Troy Hill was in coverage and a Troy Hill interception. All in all, the Rams secondary did a fantastic job keeping the speedster in front of them.

ILB’s Mark Barron/Cory Littleton vs TE George Kittle

Last week’s matchup to watch:

The explosiveness for the 49ers’ offense doesn’t end with Goodwin as George Kittle is a dangerous tight end. He’s already racked up 27 receptions for 429 yards and a touchdown. Luckily for the Rams, they have a ton of team speed and coverage ability in their linebacker group. In week 17 last year, Littleton struggled in coverage versus Kittle though he looks to be improved this season. Also, Mark Barron is one of the better (best?) coverage linebackers in the league as his skills transferred well as a converted safety.

Even though Barron and Littleton had fantastic days, it wasn’t because of their coverage against Kittle. Kittle had five receptions for 98 yards and a touchdown. Kittle proved to be a thorn in the Rams side but ultimately it was for naught as the Rams were simply too good everywhere else. Barron had a tremendous read on a screen with a great tackle, though he also had a missed tackle in a gap on a run early in the game that resulted in a big gain. As for Littleton, well, he continues to impress. One sack, another blocked punt, and a stuffed screen of his own later and we’re talking about how much of a steal Littleton is to this defense.

DT Aaron Donald vs QB C.J. Beathard

Last week’s matchup to watch:

Is it time for Aaron Donald’s first three-sack game of the season? I think and hope it will be. After starting the first three weeks without any sacks (well, one that was called back on penalty) AD has hit his stride with four sacks in his last three weeks. This week he gets a quarterback who loves to hold the ball and can generally struggle to make decisions. If Donald can work his magic like he usually does, I could absolutely see him wreaking havoc on Beathard all day long.

I thought I was going to be correct here with Donald racking up his third sack, but I was wrong. Donald actually worked his way to a new career high of FOUR sacks in this game. He was simply unstoppable. Your 2017 defensive player of the year is now up to eight sacks on the season after doubling his season total today.

Rams ILB’s vs FB Kyle Juszczyk

Last week’s matchup to watch:

You might be thinking “Huh?” here, but seriously, I listed a fullback. The 49ers run more 21 personnel than any other team in the league making Juszczyk a focal point in the run game. He only has one carry for 12 yards, but he does have 17 receptions for 227 yards and a touchdown. Not only that, but he’s a tremendous blocker with a ton of speed, power, and football IQ. The Rams’ linebackers need to stay on their p’s and q’s with Juszczyk as he can be a sneaky dangerous weapon. Not only that, but they need to be aggressive taking on his blocks and making plays in the backfield.

Juszczyk had one single carry for -4 yards on a tackle-for-loss from Aaron Donald. Not only that, but he only registered two receptions for 18 yards. The linebackers did a solid job limiting an underrated weapon for the 49ers’ offense. The front-seven as a whole did a spectacular job stuffing the run too.

OG’s Rodger Saffold/Austin Blythe vs DT DeForest Buckner

Last week’s matchup to watch:

Rodger Saffold sustained an injury against the Denver Broncos which knocked him out of the game and caused Blythe to slide over to LG, but he’s expected to return and play Sunday. That’s a good thing for the Rams because Saffold and Blythe are probably the best guard duo in the league right now, and DeForest Buckner is a superb interior defender who already has 4.5 sacks on the season.

The dynamic duo (and all the offensive lineman for that matter) get a major win today in my books. Buckner is a dangerous interior pass rusher who has 4.5 sacks on the season and none of those came against the Rams today. The offensive line only allowed two sacks on the day and generally gave QB Jared Goff great pockets to operate from.

WR Robert Woods vs CB Richard Sherman

Last week’s matchup to watch:

According to Pro Football Focus, Richard Sherman leads the league with an average of 0.14 yards per snap allowed in coverage. Somehow Sherman is still playing well, which means whoever of the Rams’ WR’s lines up on him will have their hands full. The Rams leader in receptions and yards right now is Robert Woods, so I presume he’ll probably draw Sherman majority of the time. Woods himself is a tremendous player who seems to grow and expand every week. This battle is going to be one of two heavyweights, though I look for Woods to threaten Sherman with his lack of speed.

Well, Richard Sherman was inactive for this game so his presence can’t be analysed, but Woods had another terrific game as every time he was targeted he was typically uncovered. Outside of one drop near the flat for Woods, he had a great day registering five receptions for 78 yards and leading the Rams’ offense in both categories.

The Rams once again found a way for all three phases of the team to chip in and contribute to the relatively simple win.

The test will get harder as the Rams get one of the leagues best (read: best) quarterbacks in the league in Aaron Rodgers in week eight.