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Random Ramsdom: Neither of these teams have played yet, SF clearly has the advantage

Los Angeles Rams News and Links for 9/16/23

San Francisco 49ers Offseason Workout Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Rams are getting set to take on the San Francisco 49ers this Sunday. This is the first time these teams are seeing each other this season, and the speculation is that the 49ers are a better team. We should let these teams play first and then decide. I am sure the analytics say that the Niners are better, but this game is played by people on a field, not numbers on a computer. Neither team is the same team from last year. Even if the Rams win, that doesn’t necessarily make them a better team either, any given Sunday.

Thanks for checking out today’s links and have a great Saturday!

49ers vs. Rams Roster Preview: The Niners have plenty of advantages


Advantage: SF

This is the closest of the matchups, but the slight nod is given to San Francisco, despite an unexceptional week one performance by the starting five up front. Trent Williams and Aaron Donald are juggernauts and at the pinnacle of their respective positions. Each unit falls off quite a bit after their top dogs, however.

For San Francisco, the other four starters don’t deserve a heaping amount of criticism as the offense churned out 188 yards on the ground and almost six yards per play. But, the group did not grade out well from Pro Football Focus (not the gospel, but still valuable). Along with Williams, only Jake Brendel had a run blocking grade over 55.0. Williams was the only 49er offensive lineman whose pass blocking grade was above 50.0.

It wasn’t just PFF that felt like the unit was a weak link on offense, as ESPN Analytics, which uses player tracking data from NFL Next Gen Stats, drew similar conclusions. They marked San Francisco in the bottom six in the league in run block win rate (64%) and bottom half of the league in pass block win rate (52%). The Rams don’t have the defensive line of years past, but if they find a way to shock the 49ers it will likely come from winning in the trenches.”

Rams’ 5 biggest causes for concern vs. 49ers in Week 2 (ramswire)

“The 49ers’ pass rush is significantly better than what the Rams faced in Seattle last week. Nick Bosa leads the way for San Francisco as the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, and he poses a lot of problems, as he always has for the Rams. He has 6.5 sacks in his last five games against the Rams, including five in his last three games against them.

Los Angeles kept Stafford clean and upright last week but that’ll be a much tougher task on Sunday against a 49ers front that ranks among the best in the NFL.”

Rams List Puka Nacua As Questionable vs. 49ers - Injury Tracker (fannation/ramsdigest)

“According to head coach Sean McVay, Nacua should be ready to go for the game, however.

“From an injury standpoint as far as the game status, the only guy that’ll be listed as questionable is (WR) Puka (Nacua),” McVay said. “He’ll be just limited today, but I know that questionable status is we are expecting him to be ready to go. We’re being smart with him. You guys saw what a physical performance he had last week. He’s been involved in every part of it. We just wanted to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to get him feeling as good as possible by Sunday.”

Matthew Stafford Reacts To Stetson Bennett Injury News (fannation/ramsdigest)

“While Bennett was never going to compete to dethrone Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford as Los Angeles’ starter, it does affect the operations and the meetings within the room with one less player in the room.

“One less guy in the red jersey at practice. Got a lot of love for Stetson,” Stafford said Thursday. “I appreciate him as a teammate, and Brett and I will roll with it as we go now.”