It's an NFC Championship Game rematch between the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers on "Monday Night Football" to close out Week 4.
Los Angeles, which won that matchup back in January to advance to the Super Bowl, heads to San Francisco as a 1.5-point underdog. Kyle Shanahan’s 49ers had previously won the last six meetings against Sean McVay’s Rams up until that game.
L.A. leads the division and is a minus-money favorite to win it for the second season in a row, but San Francisco can move into first place with a win.
- Moneyline: Rams (+105) | 49ers (-125)
- Spread: Rams +1.5 (-110) | 49ers -1.5 (-110)
- Total: 41.5 Over (-118) | Under (+100)
Both teams entered the season with expectations of another deep playoff run but it’s been a slow start for both the Rams and 49ers. L.A. began its title defense by getting blown out by the Bills at SoFi Stadium in the season opener. The Rams rebounded to win their next two and now get another prime-time spot against a struggling 49ers team.
San Francisco’s season began with a shocking loss to the Bears that was chalked up to the terrible weather conditions. Quarterback Trey Lance suffered a season-ending injury the following game and Jimmy Garoppolo, the team’s starter for the past three seasons, stepped in and led the 49ers to victory. The honeymoon was short-lived, though, as San Francisco managed just 10 points on "Sunday Night Football" last week in a loss to the Broncos.
The Rams' offense has not been the machine that it was a season ago. Matthew Stafford still has a great connection with Cooper Kupp and that’s about all this unit has going for it. Offseason addition Allen Robinson has just 88 receiving yards through three games, the run game is averaging a paltry 3.4 yards per carry, and the defense isn’t performing much better. The Rams yielded 31 points to the Bills and 27 against the Falcons before they bottled up the Cardinals last week and held them to just 12.
The 49ers do the bulk of their damage on offense on the ground and their defense severely limits opponents’ rushing production. Jeff Wilson Jr. leads the team with 181 rushing yards on the year and receiver Deebo Samuel is a threat to take off as well. Garoppolo doesn’t necessarily pilot a prolific passing attack, but he has a stable of weapons at his disposal such as Samuel, fellow wideout Brandon Aiyuk and tight end George Kittle, who made his season debut last week.
San Francisco’s ability to run with impunity may be hampered without the stabilizing presence of Trent Williams at left tackle. If the Rams force Garoppolo to beat them, they may have the upper hand.
The low over/under is a testament to the talent on each defense and also a nod to two offenses that have failed to live up to expectations so far: Each of San Francisco’s games has gone under so far as have the last two Rams games. A slow, low-scoring slogfest naturally favors San Francisco at home. If the 49ers can control the clock and avoid turning over the ball, which has been an issue so far, they can extend their regular-season win streak over the Rams.
I like San Francisco to win the battle at the line of scrimmage on offense and defense and cover. Nothing I saw last week in Denver was encouraging, but the 49ers always get up for their games against the Rams and they’re in a good spot to return to form at home.