The Rams are smarting after losing to the Titans last week while the 49ers got spanked by the Cardinals. Let’s evaluate this NFC West Monday night showdown and keep cashing our NFL picks!
Los Angeles Rams vs. San Francisco 49ers
Monday, November 15, 2021 – 8:15 PM EST at Levi’s Stadium
Only a guy like Matthew Stafford could pass for nearly 300 yards and not look right. When the dust settled, Stafford had tossed 294 yards with one touchdown and a pair of picks, including a pick-six, in a 28-16 loss to the surging Titans last week.
Tennessee’s defense came to play and put a lock on the Rams’ running game by limiting them to 94 rushing yards. Stafford was beleaguered throughout the game, getting hit 11 times and sacked on five occasions. “We have to play cleaner football,” McVay said.
“I want to see what we learn from our response. The last time we had a setback, I liked how we responded. … A lot of things happened tonight that are uncharacteristic of us.”
Los Angeles is ranked fifth in scoring, averaging 29 points per game, while their aerial attack is among the league’s best with Stafford pulling the trigger, averaging 296.3 yards per game. Defensively, the Rams have a swarming pass rush and are ranked 11th in points allowed, 7th against the run, and 17th against the pass.
49ers in a Shame Spiral
The Cardinals were without their starting quarterback and top wide receiver yet still had enough firepower to bury the 49ers on their home turf. San Francisco has now lost and failed to cover in five of their last six contests including last week in their 31-17 loss to Arizona as 5 ½ point home chalk.
Jimmy Garoppolo connected on 70 percent of his passes and tossed for 328 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. But once again, the Niners running attack was more of a mild affront as they managed just 39 yards on the ground with Elijah Mitchell picking up 36 of those rushing yards.
“We didn’t play very well today at all,” coach Kyle Shanahan said. “I was really disappointed. I thought we’d played really well. We had a good week of practice that we’d even improved from the week prior, but obviously, it didn’t go that way.”
San Francisco has been excellent defending the pass and dousing their opponents’ passing attack, holding opponents to only 206.5 passing yards per game, ranking them fourth in that category. However, their run-stop unit has been anemic, surrendering 131.6 yards per game placing them 26th. Offensively, the 49ers are averaging 252.5 yards through their air (13th) and 113.1 rushing yards (14th) while scoring 23.1 PPG (18th).
Wanna Make a Bet?
The NFL odds are revealing the Rams as four-point road favorites in this one and to the betting public, it looks like easy money. After all, if the 49ers couldn’t beat the Cardinals’ backups, what chance do they have against the Rams?
Well, the big question here is how healthy is Matthew Stafford? He had a bad back and an ankle injury that became obvious as the game wore on last week and those injuries don’t heal overnight. One thing the 49ers do well, despite the myriad of injuries they have sustained this season, is defending the pass. Stafford has 24 career pick-sixes over his career, the most of any active quarterback, and he tends to get squirrely when he doesn’t have complete command of his passing abilities.
We should also note that San Francisco has won the last four meetings between these teams and covered three of them. The 49ers had a bad game last week and I expect them to rebound in this one against a beat-up Rams offense that may struggle on Monday night. One other thing we’ve got going for us is the public’s infatuation with the Rams laying only four points…on the road…against a divisional rival. Yeah, sounds great. Grab the points and back the Niners.
NFL Pick: 49ers +4 (-110) with Sugarhouse