The 2018 regular season comes to a close this Sunday for the Los Angeles Rams (12-3) who will host division rival San Francisco 49ers (4-11). A win for the Rams in Week 17 locks up a first round bye in the postseason. A loss could potentially hand the honor over to the Chicago Bears (assuming they win in Minnesota).
Can the Rams take care of business at home and rest up during wild card weekend? Or will the 49ers play spoiler on their way out of a tough 2018 campaign?
The Turf Show Times’ staff make their predictions...
I think the Rams still have a chip on their shoulder after the two SNF debacles. Last week, the Rams came out and immediately played to the current strengths of the offensive personnel: blowing people off the ball, setting up play action, and working the tight ends into the passing game. Gurley was unavailable, but that wasn’t a problem against the 32nd-ranked run defense of Arizona. The 49er’s have a better defense, but their offense is limited with Pettis, Goodwin and Breida ailing. That puts more pressure on Mullens, which is exactly what the Rams want.
Prediction: Rams win, 48-14
Eddie Perez (@iAmEddieP_)
The season finale will be a simple Rams victory. The San Francisco 49ers are starting their third string QB…there ain’t much hope for these folk.
Sean McVay’s squad will run the ball with the freshly signed C.J. Anderson (if Gurley can’t go) and they will pound/pounce on the 9ers
Prediction: Rams win, 34-9
Eric Nagel (@Eric_nagel)
Playoff seeding vs pride. Which one wins out?
Prediction: Rams win, 31-28
Tevin Broner (@T_Bron)
I don’t know how this would happen, but this is the 49ers Super Bowl and although the Rams should win easily, there is a chance that the 49ers pull out a hell of an upset.
Prediction: 49ers win, 24-21
Skye Sverdlin (@skyeattolah)
The Niners are ragged, the Rams will be rested (at least for the fourth quarter). The Rams end the season on a high note and we all begin to speculate how this will all translate against playoff teams.
Prediction: Rams win, 31-17
Kristian Ramirez (@KristianRamirez)
Barring a last minute call to sit all the starters, this will end in a Rams victory.
Prediction: Rams win, 35-6
Too much on the line for the Rams to falter at home here. The Niners, like Sosa, are banged up and looking forward to a rockin’ New Year’s Eve with Ryan Seacrest. Win, and the Rams avoid a potential home rematch with Philly, which, if avenged, would lead to a potential road rematch with Chicago — a gauntlet they’d surely willingly avoid. Pretty sure McVay’s made them aware of the stakes. Book the 2-seed.
Prediction: Rams win, 34-17
Joey Aucoin (@LARamsRamsRams)
This game is gonna be fun. TE Gerald Everett will put up 150+ yards receiving as McVay continues to use both tight ends to great success.
Prediction: Rams win, 38-13
Brennan Smith (@BrennanJSmith)
I’m concerned about the Rams in this one not because they won’t be prepared, but because the 49ers will be playing spoiler and will treat this like a playoff game. CJ Anderson was a huge surprise in the last game and Los Angeles will need similar production this week to keep play action options open and the 49ers’ underrated pass rush off kilter. Aaron Donald, chasing the single-season sack record, will also need to have a big game to keep Nick Mullens off balance and George Kittle contained. I’m also looking (and more realistically hoping) that one of the supporting cast defenders makes a big play or two. Looking at you, Ndamukong Suh and Dante Fowler. San Francisco is an early 10 point dog, but I think they’ll cover that spread with Los Angeles eking out a 31-27 victory.
Prediction: 49ers win, 31-27
Sosa Kremenjas (@QBsMVP)
The Rams are going to go into the playoffs looking better than the few weeks prior. Get ready to sweep the division, folks.
Prediction: Rams win, 38-13
Sean Wilkinson (@Papa_Lurch)
The Rams are playing for a bye week that they need to get healthy. I expect Sean McVay to have this team ready to roll and Aaron Donald to dominate as he reaches for the single season sack record.
Prediction: Rams win, 31-16
Well, it’s been a good season of predictions. Each week, I threw out a recipe that had some kind of relation to the opponent.
In our first game against the Niners, I went with the idea of gold both from their uniforms but also the nature of their team being named for the gold rush in the mid-19th century.
This week, I’ll turn to rice both as the surname of perhaps the greatest wide receiver in NFL history but also as a nod to Rice-a-Roni which, along with being a crap product, is the San Francisco treat.
Rice is a wonderful grain with amazing properties. It’s good in almost any format, but I have to admit a bias.
My favorite dish on Earth, my “what would you have as your last meal on Death Row” go to is red beans and rice. Like gumbo or jambalaya or really anything of a regional culinary milieu, the best recipe is whatever gets handed down (or off) to you. But that being said, if you’re looking for a starter recipe, you could do worse than this one.
Prediction: Rams win, 34-13
Brandon Bate (@NoPlanB_)
Nick Mullens is their QB. The end.
Prediction: Rams win, 31-13