Monday Night Football Week 10 Preview and Prediction: San Francisco 49ers vs. Los Angeles Rams
San Francisco 49ers vs. Los Angeles Rams Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds
Date: Sunday, November 15, 2021
Game Time: 8:15 pm ET
Where to Watch: ESPN/ESPN 2 With Manning Brothers
- Key Stat: For the season, San Francisco ranks third in the NFL in pass success rate against, and they rank second over the past six weeks.
San Francisco 49ers vs. Los Angeles Rams Preview
The Rams head up to San Francisco hoping to bounce back from a bad loss on Sunday Night Football last week. Their defense played well against the Titans, holding Tennessee under 200 yards of offense, but Matthew Stafford threw two interceptions deep in the Rams’ territory that proved costly.
The 49ers’ defense might present an opportunity to get right. San Francisco got gashed last week by James Conner, as the 49ers fell 31-17 to an Arizona squad starting Colt McCoy at quarterback. The 49ers have struggled to prevent explosive plays this season, but they’ve interestingly had one of the best success rates against the pass all season, ranking third for the year and second for the past six weeks. The Rams will also be adjusting to a new wide receiver corps — longtime anchor Robert Woods is out after a torn ACL in practice this week, while new addition Odell Beckham is set to make his debut.
Beckham could be in for a solid role in his first game, given Woods’ injury, but it’s always tough to get up to speed quickly at the wide receiver position. Beckham should get some chances, but he’s had to learn a new playbook, and pass concepts are more complex than, say, running plays. There’s room for Beckham to provide a long-term upgrade to the Rams offense, given Woods hasn’t really been himself this year, but expecting that after a short week of practice is probably a bit much.
It’s possible the Rams’ passing game will look a little disjointed this week, especially as they may feel pressure to try to quickly integrate Beckham, given Woods’ injury. Nevertheless, the 3.5-point line feels right, and the hook makes it tough to bet; I do like the Rams to win, but a field goal differential seems pretty plausible here among opponents who know each other well and played to 24-16 and 23-20 finals last season.
But San Francisco enters this game having lost five of their past six and yet unwilling to turn the offense over to rookie Trey Lance. George Kittle’s return in Week 9, along with Brandon Aiyuk’s emergence from the doghouse, have given Deebo Samuel some cover as the big three passing-game weapons finally look ready to roll for the 49ers. Jimmy Garoppolo hasn’t been terrible, either, but he is in some ways limiting, and this is a tough matchup against a good Rams’ defense that will add Von Miller to the defensive line.
San Francisco still wants to be a run-first offense that can take pressure off Garoppolo and allow him to be something of a system quarterback. Their style of ball-control offense with a short passing game that includes a big yards-after-catch component keeps the clock moving, and while they can certainly create big plays, they’ll try to win this game by piecing together drives rather than taking big shots. If they fall behind, they can struggle to keep pace when they become too one-dimensional.
There are exciting playmakers on both sides of the ball in this game, but both defenses can bring it, too. If the Rams have a few lost possessions while they integrate Beckham, or if the 49ers are forced out of doing what they do well, there are reasons to expect both offenses could be a little less productive than usual. I like the under here.