A massive divisional matchup looms as the San Francisco 49ers head to the Coliseum to play against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 6. Coming off a divisional loss, the Rams will likely play with a hint of urgency, as dropping back-to-back divisional games would push them further behind the 8-ball.
Let’s get into the matchups to watch:
WR Cooper Kupp versus CB K’Waun Williams
If you weren’t informed about Cooper Kupp’s ACL tear, you’d have no idea he isn’t even a year removed from the injury. Kupp — who’s currently 4th in the league in receiving yards — has been unstoppable, reeling in 41 receptions for 505 yards and four touchdowns. Kupp will likely draw coverage from multiple 49ers defenders, but he’ll face K’Waun Williams most. Williams is having a tremendous season and will be relied upon a ton by Defensive Coordinator Robert Saleh.
EDGE Dante Fowler Jr. versus OT’s Justin Skule/Sam Young
Dante Fowler Jr. hasn’t registered a sack since Week 1 when he notched two, though this might be his best opportunity to get back on the stat sheet as the 49ers are missing both starting tackles. The replacements — Justin Skule at left tackle, Sam Young at right tackle — aren’t top quality, though Skule has been quite admirable in his two starts in 2019. The Rams’ pass rush have a chance to impact quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and it is crucial they do.
Rams’ front seven versus 49ers’ rushing attack
The 49ers’ offense is currently averaging 200 rushing yards per game, good for 1st in the league. The trio of Matt Breida, Tevin Coleman, and Raheem Mostert have proven to be lethal in the outside zone rushing attack Head Coach Kyle Shanahan deploys. The Rams’ front seven need to maintain discipline and remain in their gaps, because stopping the run has to be of the utmost priority.
S Taylor Rapp versus TE George Kittle
Rookie safety Taylor Rapp looks to be a go for Sunday after recovering from an ankle injury. Unluckily for him, he’ll draw coverage against arguably the best tight end in football, George Kittle. Kittle is an absolutely ferocious blocker with elite speed at the position, making him an absolute handful for any defender. Rapp has to do whatever he can to contain Kittle, as the potent weapon can turn a small gain into a large one.
Rams’ OL versus 49ers’ DL
The 49ers have arguably the best defensive line in football, which is comprised of multiple studs and first-round draft picks. Dee Ford, Nick Bosa, D.J. Jones, DeForest Buckner, Arik Armstead, and Soloman Thomas are as formidable of a front as the Rams will see all year. The Rams’ offensive line hasn’t been very good in 2019, yet they’ll need to find a way to control this game. The game will likely be won and lost in the trenches, making this battle the most important of all.