clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Can Rams surprise and start 2-0 with win against 49ers?

Rams are 8.5 point underdogs on Sunday against 49ers

NFL: NFC Championship-San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams shocked the NFL in Week 1 by defeating the Seattle Seahawks 30-13. With questions about tanking all offseason, the Rams came out and showed that they are still a team to be reckoned with. The test in Week 2 gets much more challenging as the Rams face off against the San Francisco 49ers. On Sunday, the Rams will be 7.5 point underdogs according to DraftKings Sportsbook which is a pretty big spread for a Sean McVay team at home against a division opponent.

In Week 1, the Rams more than covered the spread by winning outright against the Seahawks. However, the 49ers will be a different story as they are a team that McVay and the Rams haven’t had a lot of success against in the past. Four of the eight regular season losses have come by 10 or more points, including 31-14 and 24-9 in 2022.

This is a new Rams team, however, that is looking to prove themselves and that’s how they played in Week 1. With that said, the 49ers also appear to be the best team in the NFL after opening weekend.

Rams Offense vs. 49ers Defense

Last week, the Rams did a nice job at sustaining long drives on offense and playing ball control which was new for a McVay team. Three of the Rams’ touchdown drives were at least 10 plays or longer and they had the ball for almost 40-minutes overall. It’s unlikely that the Rams are as efficient on third down, but they’ll need to win in the trenches and wear down the 49ers defense.

Last week, quarterback Matthew Stafford was extremely efficient throwing over the middle of the field. With Fred Warner on the other side, it’s unlikely that this part of the field will be as available. The Rams wide receivers will need to win their matchups on the outside.

Lastly, it will be key for the offense to avoid negative plays. Since 2019, the Rams offense has throw a pick-six against the 49ers in four games. For Stafford, that’s come at the hands of Jimmie Ward and Talanoa Hufanga.

This is a prove-it game for Cam Akers. He seemed to lack explosiveness and urgency as a runner against the Seahawks. Against a fast 49ers defense, you can’t run the ball with a slow running back. Akers looked slow against Seattle. The holes in the run game will be few and far between, the Rams running backs need to be able to hit those.

Matchup to Watch: Rob Havenstein vs. Nick Bosa

Bosa typically rushes from the right side which will place him against Havenstein. It will be crucial for the Rams to keep Matthew Stafford protected. Bosa will likely win a few reps, but Havenstein will need to limit those. I’ll also be interested to watch Alaric Jackson against Drake Jackson on the left side.

Rams Defense vs. 49ers Offense

The biggest question for the Rams defense is going to be whether or not they can contain the edges. Michael Hoecht and Byron Young had rough moments in the first half against Seattle. Shanahan will most definitely test them with Christian McCaffrey as well as with Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk on jet sweeps. McCaffrey averaged 5.5 yards per carry running around the left end against Pittsburgh.

Ernest Jones had a good week in the run game in Week 1, filling gaps and navigating traffic. The Rams will need him to continue to be stout in the run game like he was against the Seahawks.

As always against the 49ers, it will be crucial for the Rams defense to be able to tackle. Often times in this matchup, Los Angeles has missed tackles that have resulted in big plays. The Rams must tackle on Sunday.

Matchup to Watch: Derion Kendrick vs. Brandon Aiyuk

Kendrick had up and down moments last week and will be tested against Brandon Aiyuk. Aiyuk has become a fantastic route-runner. Kendrick will need to play extremely disciplined against the 49ers wide receiver.


While the Rams showed some good things in Week 1, the 49ers remain levels above Los Angeles at this time. San Fransisco looked like the best team in Week 1 and they’re going to be a lot to handle. This young Rams team simply might not be ready for this type of matchup or game.

McVay has typically had success against Pete Carroll and the Seahawks. That’s not the case against Shanahan and the 49ers. If the Rams can get out healthy and make this game relatively close, that should be seen as a success. I do see the Rams covering, but falling short.

Prediction: 49ers 27, Rams 20