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49ers vs. Rams: A prospector's guide

We take a look at pertinent facts, figures and history in the Week 17 matchup with the St. Louis Rams.

The San Francisco 49ers are back home to wrap up the 2015 regular season. The 49ers welcome their long time rivals, the St. Louis Rams to town to close things out. The Week 17 contest kicks off at 1:25 p.m. PT, and will air on CBS due to flexing. The announcer crew consists of Tom McCarthy and Adam Archuleta. Expect a very regional broadcast.

The 49ers are 4-11 and just looking to get out of a miserable season. They face a 7-8 Rams team that has shown some signs of life, but as per usual with Jeff Fisher teams, is destined for .500-ish purgatory. This game has some draft pick implications, but not nearly as much as that 2005 49ers-Texans game. The 49ers are currently in the No. 5 position. If they beat the Rams, the 49ers will drop no further than No. 8 (but could still remain as high as No. 5). If the 49ers lose, they will remain no worse than No. 5, but could improve one or two spots, depending on other losses.

The Rams have been all over the place this season, which a 7-8 record might indicate. Football Outsiders ranks their defense No. 8 overall, fifth against the pass and sixth against the run. Their vaunted defensive front ranks seventh in adjusted line yards allowed, and eleventh in adjusted sack rate. The 49ers offensive line might finally be getting a chance to come around a little bit. Jordan Devey is no longer playing, Erik Pears has been kicked inside, and Trenton Brown is showing some life at right tackle. They'll be in for a full day's work against the Rams defense.

FO ranked the Rams offense No. 29 overall, 32nd passing and 10th running. Todd Gurley rushed for 133 yards and a touchdown against the 49ers back on November 1. He has only one 100-yard performance since then, but remains a force the 49ers will have to deal with on Sunday. The 49ers run defense has been much better at home, and I suspect they do whatever they can to force Case Keenum to beat them through the air.

The 49ers are a 3.5-point underdog. They went this entire season without being favored in a game. OddsShark said that is the first time in the franchise's history, dating back to at least 1991, that they have not been favored in a single game the entire season. Even in 2005, they were favored over the Houston Texans in that battle for the top pick. It is worth noting this year's schedule ranks as the toughest strength of schedule across the league. Of course, the fact that the 49ers were underdogs to teams like the Cleveland Browns (even on the road) says plenty!

The 49ers are back to their normal media schedule to close out the regular season. New Years is later this week, but it seems like there won't be any notable changes. Wednesday will start with a conference call with Rams head coach Jeff Fisher at 10:20 a.m. PT. That will be followed by Jim Tomsula's weekly Wednesday press conference at 10:30 a.m., and then Blaine Gabbert and special teams coach Thomas McGaughey at 11:35 a.m. Player availability will be from 12:00 to 12:45 p.m., Rams running back Todd Gurley will talk with Bay Area media at 12:15 p.m., and practice will be at 2:00 p.m.

Thursday will be coordinator day. Offensive coordinator Geep Chryst and defensive coordinator Eric Mangini will speak at 11:35 a.m. The team will have player availability from 12:00 to 12:45 p.m., and then practice at 2 p.m. Jim Tomsula will meet with the media on Friday at 11:55 a.m. Practice will take place at 12:40 p.m., and player availability will follow.

Matchups: 132
Series Record: 49ers lead series 65-64-3
49ers Home Record vs. Rams: Series is tied 32-32-2
First Meeting: 10/1/50, Rams win 35-14, at SF
Last Meeting: 11/1/15, Rams win 27-6, at StL
Current Streak: Lost 2
Longest 49ers Win Streak: 17 (12/17/90 - 12/27/98)
Longest Rams Win Streak: 10 (11/29/70 - 9/28/75)
Most 49ers Points: 48 (12/27/87): 49ers win 48-0, at SF
Most Rams Points: 56 (11/9/58): Rams win 56-7, at LA
49ers Shutouts: 8 (Last 12/4/11), 49ers win 26-0, at SF
Rams Shutouts: None
(LA) - Los Angeles

WR Anquan Boldin

  • In 17 career games against StL, has totaled 110 receptions for 1,513 yards and 9 TDs.
  • As a member of the Arizona Cardinals, had 6 receptions for a team- high 123 yards and 2 TDs at StL (11/23/03).
  • Has 6 career 100-yd. games against StL in his career, his most against any team.

LB NaVorro Bowman

  • Registered a team-high 11 tackles and 1.0 sack vs. StL (12/1/13).
  • Took down Rams QB Kellen Clemens for a 7-yd. loss in the 4th qtr. at StL (1/1/12).
  • Sacked QB Sam Bradford and forced a fumble, which was recovered by DT Tony Jerod-Eddie at StL (9/26/13).

CB Tramaine Brock

  • Late in the 4th qtr. vs. StL (11/11/12), he stripped the ball from Rams RB Isaiah Pead on a kickoff return, marking his first-career FF. The loose ball was scooped up by S Darcel McBath. On the ensuing play, RB Frank Gore scored on a 20-yd. TD run.

LB Ahmad Brooks

  • Recorded 1.5 sacks and tied for a team-high 9 tackles at StL (9/26/13).
  • Brought down Rams QB Austin Davis for 2.0 sacks at StL (10/13/14).

DT Tony Jerod-Eddie

  • Recorded his first career fumble recovery at StL (9/26/13). The takeaway led to a 1-yd. TD run by RB Anthony Davis two plays later.

CB Dontae Johnson

  • Recorded his first career INT and first career TD, intercepting a Rams QB Austin Davis pass and taking it 20 yards to the end zone at StL (10/13/14).

2015 Statistics

49ERS (rank) RAMS (rank)
4-11 (4th NFCW) Record 7-8 (3rd NFCW)
14.6 (32nd) Points per game 17.6 (30th)
293.5 (31st) Total Offense 293.3 (32nd)
95.7 (21st) Rushing Offense 121.7 (8th)
197.7 (30th) Passing Offense 171.6 (32nd)
26:13 (31st) Possession Avg 27:13 (29th)
24.7 (t-18th) Points allowed/gm 20.7 (13th)
389.0 (t-28th) Total Defense 361.9 (21st)
125.8 (28th) Rushing Defense 114.2 (20th)
263.2 (25th) Passing Defense 247.7 (t-21st)
28 (29th) Sacks 40 (t-4th)
43.9 (24th) Punting Avg (Gross) 47.7 (2nd)
-4 (t-21st) Turnover Differential +4 (t-10th)