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49ers vs. Rams: A prospector's guide

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We take a look at pertinent facts, figures and history in the Week 1 Monday Night Football matchup with the Los Angeles Rams.

The 2016 NFL season is just about ready to get going! Thursday Night Football gets us started with the Denver Broncos hosting the Carolina Panthers in a Super Bowl rematch, but the San Francisco 49ers will be closing out the week. The NFL set up the 49ers with their long time rivals, the Los Angeles Rams for the late game on the Monday Night Football doubleheader. The Rams returned to Southern California, relocating over the offseason to their original hometown, and the California rivalry will get a chance to pick up some steam.

The return of football means the return of the Prospector’s Guide. We’ve run this feature dating all the way back to 2008! It’s a general feature with some random stats and odds & ends about the matchup. We’ve got history of the rivalry, notable performances against the Rams by some players, and a comparison of some basic stats.

The 49ers enter this game as a 2.5-point favorite. The line might change a little, but I would not expect much money to change this. The Rams already made it clear that Case Keenum will start the game, and Jared Goff will be a healthy inactive. The team traded up for Goff, but he did not impress enough in training camp and the preseason to claim the job. He could very well start before the end of this season, but for the time being, he will be down the depth chart.

The 49ers begin the Chip Kelly era, and will continue with Blaine Gabbert as the starting quarterback. He won the job in the offseason thanks in part to Colin Kaepernick dealing with shoulder issues. He had surgery on his non-throwing shoulder late last year, which cost him reps in the offseason workout program. He was back in training camp, but developed shoulder fatigue and missed the first two preseason games. Gabbert was not overly impressive, but the bar was relatively low, and he’ll get the first crack at Chip Kelly’s offense.

While the 49ers offense faces a decided disadvantage against the Rams defense, the 49ers defense could face an advantage against the Rams offense. Todd Gurley is going to be difficult matchup all season long, but that passing game has its share of questions. The 49ers pass rush is an X factor with Aaron Lynch suspended the first four games. I think we’ll all be paying close attention to Tank Carradine in his first regular season game as an outside linebacker. Tank, DeForest Buckner, and Arik Armstead could be the keys to pressuring Case Keenum and creating problems.

Matchups: 133
Series Record: 49ers lead series 66-64-3
49ers Home Record vs. Rams: 49ers lead series 33-32-2
First Meeting: 10/1/50, Rams win 35-14, at SF
Last Meeting: 1/3/16, 49ers win 19-16 (OT), at SF
Current Streak: Won 1
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

S ANTOINE BETHEA

  • Registered 7 tackles and his first sack as a member of the 49ers, bringing down Rams QB Austin Davis at StL (10/13/14).
  • Recorded 10 tackles, 1 INT and 2 PDs vs. StL (11/2/14).

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), 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).

DL GLENN DORSEY

  • Registered 8 tackles and 1 sack for 6-yds. at StL (9/26/13).
  • Recorded career-highs in tackles (13) and solo tackles (8) vs. StL (12/1/13).

QB BLAINE GABBERT

  • Completed 28-of-44 passes for a career-high 354 yds. and 1 TD vs. StL (1/3/16).

LB GERALD HODGES

  • Recorded a career-high 16 tackles vs. StL (1/3/16).

CB DONTAE JOHNSON

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

WR TORREY SMITH

  • Making his first career NFL start as a member of the Baltimore Ra- vens, recorded 5 recepts. for a game-high 152-yds. and 3 TDs at StL (9/25/11). His first 3 recepts. all went for TDs (74, 41 and 18 yds.) as he became the first rookie in NFL history to record 3 TD recepts. in a 1st qtr.