Six weeks into the 2020 season and the Rams are about to play their first division game. They’ve compiled a 4-1 record so far but that can be due to them sweeping the entire NFC East which has easily been the league’s worst division thus far. San Francisco has been hampered with injuries this year but still owns a respectable 2-3 record.
The Rams and 49ers are set to battle it out on Sunday Night Football so we’ve broken down three keys that could lead to LA’s first division win of the year.
3. Donald Leads the Way
It’s always easy to include the former Defensive Player of the Year as a key piece to the Rams winning any game, but it’s a game Donald is probably dying to play. In 11 career games against the 49ers, No. 99 has 11.5 sacks as well as 43 tackles (14 for a loss). After a 4 sack game against Washington last week, Donald is in line for another big game against a struggling 49er offensive line.
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) October 12, 2020
So far on the season, Frisco has allowed the 4th most sacks in the league with 18. Their matchup against the Miami Dolphins was a train wreck. Not only did they fall apart on defense, but the O-line allowed 5 sacks and 8 QB hits. Troy Reader had 3 sacks last week as well and could rack up some more along with the rest of the Rams’ pass rush. However, if we had to put money on who would make the biggest impact, it goes to Aaron Donald.
2. A Resilient Jared Goff
Goff has had a resurgent year behind a much better offensive line. Even though the 49ers allowed a season-high 43 points to the Dolphins, it will be the biggest test that Goff will face this year. The NFC East isn’t really much of a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks and the Buffalo Bills just haven’t had the defense many expected them to have this year.
Jared Goff ➡️ Darrell Henderon 🏈 Rams up 30-10! pic.twitter.com/bp8AmVAzwC
— LA Rams Nation (@RamsNationCP) October 11, 2020
If Goff can take it to the San Fan defense, then it could add a huge boost to his confidence. He seems to be very comfortable playing at Levi Stadium as he owns a 2-1 record with seven touchdowns and one interception in 3 career games. Goff also has plenty of weapons at his disposal which should be very beneficial.
1. Stopping the Run Again?
It seems that stopping the run game always makes an appearance every week and for a good reason too. The Rams just haven’t been consistent in stopping the run this year. Last week was a positive sign as they only allowed 38 yards on 14 rushes. However, the 49ers run game will be the best it’s faced since their Week 1 matchup against Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys.
— Coach Yac 🗣 (@Coach_Yac) October 12, 2020
Even though San Francisco was blown out last week, they still had a very strong performance on the ground. They rushed 19 times for 131 yards (6.9 YPC) and a touchdown. Raheem Mostert rushed for 90 of those yards on 11 carries. Limiting yardage on the ground would go a long way to coming out on top.
Los Angeles Rams @ San Francisco 49ers
Sunday, October 18th @ 5:20 PM on NBC