Scroll down to join us for live scoring updates, news and analysis Monday night when the 49ers host the Rams.
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GAME ESSENTIALS: 49ers (3-5) vs. Rams (7-2) at Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, at 5:15 p.m. (PT). TV: ESPN-TV, ABC-TV (Ch. 7), Announcers: Steve Levy (play-by-play), Brian Griese and Louis Riddick (color commentary), Lisa Salters (sideline reporting).
ODDS: Rams -4. OVER/UNDER: 49.
SERIES: 49ers lead 73-67-3. LAST MEETING: 49ers won 23-20 at SoFi Stadium on Nov. 29, 2020.
The 49ers have swept Sean McVay’s Rams in each of the past two seasons, but getting a fifth straight victory on Monday will take some doing. This isn’t an ideal matchup for the 49ers’ struggling defense.
San Francisco’s 26th-ranked defense has a hefty challenge in its way as the Rams’ offense poses a schematic issue for the 49ers. Under new quarterback Matthew Stafford, the Rams’ offense has used a lot of empty backfield sets (a league-high 19 percent). The 49ers haven’t handled empty sets very well this season – according to ESPN, they’re 30th in opponent’s QB Rating and 31st in yards allowed per pass attempt, when the quarterback is by himself in the backfield.
When Stafford throws the ball, Cooper Kupp is usually the one catching it. The Rams’ slot receiver leads the NFL with 1,019 receiving yards. (Ironically, the 49ers’ Deebo Samuel is second in the league with 882 yards). Kupp will soon have some company in the Rams’ receiving room with the addition of former Pro Bowler Odell Beckham, Jr.
Jimmy Garoppolo will start at quarterback for the third consecutive game and figures to face a challenge with the Rams’ loaded defensive front. Los Angeles, which leads the NFL with 28 quarterback sacks, could have newly acquired All-Pro edge rusher Von Miller. Dealing with Miller and fellow All-Pro Aaron Donald could get dicey for a 49ers offensive line that just lost right tackle Mike McGlinchey.
Follow along with our reporters Cam Inman and Jerry McDonald, columnist Dieter Kurtenbach and other analysts providing their thoughts about the game.