What a matchup we have to conclude Week 10. The Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers will meet in what will be a pivotal showdown for both teams.
The visiting Rams need to bounce back after a pitiful performance in primetime against the Tennessee Titans. Meanwhile, another loss might bury the 49ers’ playoff hopes for good.
Which NFC West team will get the job done in this divisional showdown? Let’s break it down.
- Opening line: Los Angeles -3
- Current line: Los Angeles -4
- Total: 49
Throw out what we last saw from the Rams?
Sometimes, teams just have dud performances. That’s exactly what happened to the Rams. Unfortunately for them, it came in primetime.
Matthew Stafford was pretty bad in this one. He threw an inexplicable interception deep in his own territory, then threw a pick-six on his very next pass. Those two plays put L.A. in a 14-3 hole they struggled to climb out of. Simply put, it was a disaster.
But a deeper dive into the box score suggests this game wasn’t as bad as it might’ve seemed. The Rams outgained Tennessee 347-194. They held Tennessee to just 3.5 yards per play. But turnovers and a whopping 12 penalties did the Rams in.
The Rams were sloppy and it cost them, but this doesn’t feel like a warning sign of worse things to come. Los Angeles still ranks third in overall DVOA, second in offensive DVOA and fourth in defensive DVOA. And the newly acquired Von Miller and Odell Beckham Jr., could make their debuts this week, adding even more star power to this talented roster.
The Rams are still a really good team despite stubbing their toe in primetime.
Are the 49ers actually good?
San Francisco completely burnt me last week, as I had them +1 last week, had beaten the closing number by six points and was treated to one of my worst losses of the season. Thanks a lot, Kyle Shanahan.
The 49ers defense is a legitimate concern. San Francisco just gave up 437 yards to a Colt McCoy-led Cardinals offense, including 163 yards on the ground. The Niners couldn’t cover, couldn’t tackle, and couldn’t get a stop when it mattered. San Francisco also couldn’t get out of its own way, turning the ball over three times. San Francisco ranks 17th in overall defensive DVOA, but 25th against the pass. Injuries have hit San Francisco’s back four hard, which is why they’ve resorted to starting players like Josh Norman.
The analytics still think fondly of San Francisco offensively. The Niners rank ninth in overall DVOA and sixth on offense. But the Cardinals followed the perfect script to throwing off San Francisco’s offense: jump out to an early lead, force the Niners away from their running game, and force them to rely on Jimmy Garoppolo.
Shanahan had to have been sick when saw the Niners threw the ball 40 times Sunday, compared to just 11 rushes. It’s not that the 49ers can’t throw the ball, they have a good set of weapons headlined by Deebo Samuel and George Kittle. But Garoppolo is a statue who comes apart when under pressure. He simply doesn’t see the field well when under duress, and 49ers fans probably can’t wait for the Trey Lance era to officially get underway.
I love to take the 49ers as underdogs and fade them as favorites. But I just can’t trust this team anymore. The pass defense is pretty bad, and the Rams have plenty of firepower to expose that weak link. The Rams also lead the league with 28 sacks, which spells bad news for Garoppolo.
I could see this game following a similar script to what happened between San Fran and Arizona last week. The Rams come out firing off an embarrassing loss and force the 49ers to chase. I will probably pass on this Monday night showdown, but would lean with the road favorites if I had to bet it.
The pick: Lean Rams -4, look for -3 or better
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