Even though the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers share a bond between their head coaches, particularly on offensive philosophy, the two teams approaches couldn’t be more different. The Rams are more of a calculating, finesse team, on both sides of the ball, while the 49ers have an aggressive and physical brand.
For Matthew Stafford and the Rams offense, improvements have come incrementally. Each game has seen a rise in total yardage, rushing yardage and the commission of fewer turnovers. Defensively, the Rams are yielding yardage, but have been effective in forcing turnovers. According to Pro Football Reference, rating number two in the percentage of opponents drives ending in a turnover (four interceptions and three fumble recoveries). They have also been successfully defending the red zone, allowing 50% of trips to cross the goal line. (#8 in NFL).
The ‘Niners rely heavily on the outside zone run game and attack the edges of the interior. In the first three games they have run the ball 53% of their offensive plays and averaged 34 carries per game for 151 yards, a 4.5 clip. Jeff Wilson is the go-to back with 39 carries and 181 yards. Play-making wide receiver Deebo Samuel often lines up in the backfield and has 17 carries for 111 yards. ‘Frisco’s run game lost a weapon when athletic quarterback Trey Lance was lost for the season to injury.
Jimmy Garoppolo, after stepping in for Lance, now has a full game at QB under his belt to knock off the rust. He will try to revive a 49er passing game that is languishing in the NFL’s bottom five. In last weeks loss to the Denver Broncos, Garoppolo completed 18 0f 29 passes for 211 yards, one touch down and one interception. He also made an awareness mistake, stepping over the backline of his own end zone and costing San Francisco a safety. Ironically, the safety was the play’s best possible outcome, since his pass was intercepted and returned into the end zone.
Defensively, the ‘Niners are #3 in team defense, #1 against the pass, and #4 against the run. They don’t blitz much relying on their four-down front, but are very good applying pressure to opposing quarterbacks. Their pressure rate is 36.5% (#1), QB knockdown rate is 16% (#2), hurry rate is 14.6% (#5), and have recorded eight sacks (#6t). San Francisco only allows 14.6% (#2) of opposing drives to score and 13 points per game (#3).
How to follow the game
Date: Monday, October 3
Kickoff: 5:15 PST
Location: Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Ca.
Watch it live: ESPN nationally and Rams affiliate ABC7 locally
Livestream: Sling TV, L.A. Rams official app, NFL Plus, Hulu Live, fubo TV, DIRECTV STREAM (formerly known as AT&T TV), and many others.
Listen: ESPN LA 710 AM, 93.1 Jack FM, Tu Liga 1330 AM, and ESPN affiliates including KLSD 1360 AM (San Diego), KKUU HD2 (Palm Springs), KTIE 590 AM (Riverside), KAVL 610 AM and 106.7 FM (Lancaster), KSMA 1240 AM and 99.5 FM (Santa Maria), and KMET 1490 AM (Banning).
Current betting odds at DraftKings Sportsbook
Line: LA Rams +1.5 / San Francisco 49ers -1.5 -110
Over/under totals: 42.5 -110
Money line: Los Angeles Rams +100 / San Francisco 49ers -120