Matthew Stafford’s three turnover performance—including his fourth pick six of the season—against the Tyler Huntley led Baltimore Ravens did not inspire much faith in the team. According to the most recent polls on SB Nation Reacts, only 79 percent of the Los Angeles Rams fans believe the team is on the right path. That’s down from 93 percent last week.
It’s likely the dip in confidence is in part due to the Rams’ next opponent: the rival San Francisco 49ers. LA has struggled against San Francisco, losing five games in a row to the Bay Area team. DraftKings Sportsbook seem to be believers in LA, as they have the Rams as 4.5-point favorites with a 44.5-point over/under in the regular season finale.
San Francisco is dealing with a few injuries to some key starters on offense, including quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams. Garoppolo is currently dealing with an injured thumb on his throwing hand, while Williams missed the entire week of practice after injuring his elbow against the Houston Texans in Week 17.
Final Week 18 @DignityHealth injury report.— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) January 8, 2022
Updates from Kyle Shanahan: https://t.co/3dMwY7bbit pic.twitter.com/bBJnuERKjk
While Stafford has been a bit up-and-down lately, the Rams appear to be peaking at the right time in other areas. The defense has surrendered only three touchdowns in as many weeks. The return game has shown the capability to make the big play when it is absolutely needed. On top of all that, Cam Akers is set to make his season debut after tearing his Achilles only six months ago.
Hopefully the backfield combination of Sony Michel—the NFL’s leading rusher in the month of December—and the returning Akers can continue to be bullies in the run game, and beat the 49ers with a dose of their own medicine.
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