49ers Must Beat Rams to Hold Onto First in NFC West
The San Francisco 49ers host the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday night and both are in must win situations for different reasons. 49ers must stay even with the Seahawks atop the division and the Rams are trying to earn a NFC Wildcard spot. San Francisco bolted out of the blocks by winning their first eight games only to split their next six. Despite their recent stumble, the 49ers can take a significant step toward the No. 1 seed in the conference and a division title.
TV: 8:15 p.m. ET, NFL Network. LINE: 49ers -7.0 O/U: 45
Despite getting wrapped and slapped by the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, the Los Angeles Rams can still earn an NFC Wild Card berth with victories in Weeks 16 and 17. They also need some help with back-to-back losses by the Minnesota Vikings.
As the Rams were losing 44-21 to Dallas on Sunday, San Francisco suffered a dramatic 29-22 upset at the hands of the Atlanta Falcons at home. Knocking them back into second place in the NFC West. The Niners were up 22-17 before Atlanta scored a touchdown with two seconds remaining. They then pounced on the ensuing kick-off when it was fumbled in San Francisco’s end zone. The play cashed in the Over on the 50-point total in one of the worst bad beats in memory.
San Francisco can ill afford to look past the Rams and ahead to next week’s pivotal showdown with division co-leader Seattle, especially after inexplicably losing to Atlanta on Sunday. “We definitely have to play better. I don’t think that we played at any type of intensity like we’ve been playing all year, and we’ve got to figure that out,” said Pro Bowl tight end George Kittle, who erupted for a career-high 13 receptions and 134 yards against the Falcons.
Los Angeles absorbed a major hit to its dim wild-card hopes after answering a lopsided win over Arizona and a dismantling of the Seahawks. They lit a dud in Dallas on Sunday. In order to secure a third consecutive playoff berth, the Rams must defeat both the 49ers and Cardinals while needing the Vikings to lose at home to Green Bay and Chicago.
This, That, and a Dart Throw
Tonight will be the second meeting of the year for these divisional rivals. When they faced off at the Coliseum in Week 6, it was San Francisco winning 20-7 as 3-point road dogs. The 49ers held the Rams to 157 yards of total offense in the process.
The Rams are 8-6 on the season. Jared Goff struggled badly in their 20-7 setback to San Francisco on Oct. 13th. He completed 13 passes for a career-low 78 yards while his team went 0-for-9 on third-down conversions. Goff has an additional hurdle in the rematch against the NFL’s top-ranked pass defense. He is nursing a bruised thumb on his throwing hand sustained in the first half against Dallas.
Todd Gurley had a rushing and receiving touchdown against the Cowboys to find the end zone for the 11th time (nine rushing, two receiving) in his last 10 games. Gurley sat out the clash with the 49ers due to a bruised thigh. Tyler Higbee turned a career-high 12 receptions into 111 yards last week to become the first Rams tight end in the Super Bowl era with three consecutive triple-digit yardage performances.
The 49ers are 11-3 on the season. Signed to a five-year, $137.5 million contract, Jimmy Garoppolo is slowly starting to pay dividends. He has recorded a 110-plus passer rating in four of his past five starts. “I don’t think it’s doing anything special or anyone making a crazy play. It’s just playing within the offense and just following your rules,” the 28-year-old Garoppolo said. Raheem Mostert has five touchdowns (four rushing, one receiving) in his past four games. Fellow running back Tevin Coleman found the end zone in the recent contest versus the Rams.
Defensive linemen DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead, along with fellow Pro Bowl alternate Fred Warner have been dominant at home this season. Buckner has recorded 3.5 sacks and two forced fumbles at Levi’s Stadium, Armstead has 6.5 of his club-best 10 sacks at home, while leading tackler Warner has collected at least nine tackles in four straight games in Santa Clara.
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The Dart Throw: 49ers 23, Rams 17
San Francisco 49ers
- Trend Over is 5-2 in 49ers last 7 games as an underdog of 10.5 or greater. Hit % 71.40% (7) O/U 5|2 Push 0 W/L
- Over is 4-1 in 49ers last 5 games as a home favorite. 80.00% (5) 4|1 0
- Over is 5-2 in 49ers last 7 games as a home favorite of 0.5-3.0. 71.40% (7) 5|2 0
- Under is 4-1 in 49ers last 5 games as a home underdog. 80.00% (5) 1|4 0
Los Angeles Rams
- Trend Under is 15-3 in Rams last 18 games as an underdog of 10.5 or greater. Hit % 83.30% (18) O/U 5|2 Push 0 W/L
- Under is 5-1 in Rams last 6 games as a favorite of 0.5-3.0. 83.30% (6) 1|5 0
- Over is 6-2 in Rams last 8 games as a road underdog of 3.5-10.0. 75.00% (8) 6|2 0
- Under is 4-1 in Rams last 5 games as a road favorite. 80.00% (5) 1|4 0
Rams vs 49ers H2H Meeting Trends
- Trend Under is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings in San Francisco. Hit % 83.30% (6) O/U 1|5 Push 0 W/L
- Rams are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 meetings. 25.00% (8) 0 2|6
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