Tonight, the 49ers host the Los Angeles Rams for another total coinflip of a Thursday Night Football matchup. Despite what I assume to be wholly mediocre national interest in the game, it didn’t dissuade the talented 49ers beat writers from digging up some excellent storylines. Did you know that in the last 22 games, the San Francisco 49ers are 3-19? Also, those 3 victories are all against the Rams. Unfortunately, that record extends through two former 49ers HC and one former Rams HC - meaning that the streak is meaningless and there’s no reason to award any type of superstitious statistical edge to us.
In less dour news, we’ve got some great articles detailing the professional history between 49ers HC Kyle Shanahan and Rams HC Sean McVay. First and foremost, both are sons of former 49er employees, as I’m sure many of us remember from the myriad off-season dossiers on potential HC candidates. However, the two young coaches found their starts together in Tampa Bay under Jay Gruden, and eventually wound up in Washington together, where the future Rams’ coach took orders from our coach. Of course, this means that McVay and Shanahan run nearly identical offensive systems, except that the McVay-Goff connection is looking much better than the Shanahan-Hoyer counterpart. I’d expect this to end up a defensive struggle, highlighted by each HC having reciprocally intimate knowledge of the opposing offense. However, my weekly prediction contest prognostications are consistently garbage, so take that last bit with a fistful of salt.
To wrap things up, the health situation at safety is looking pretty dicey right now. Eric Reid is out and Jimmie Ward & Jaquiski Tartt are both listed as questionable (although both are expected to play), leaving 7th round former-CB Adrian Colbert and UDFA Lorenzo Jerome as the sole “completely healthy” players at the position. This brings me to the final fun fact of the day: Ward and Tartt played high school ball together at Davidson HS in Mobile, AL. If both are given the go-ahead to play tonight, I’m sure the hometown of the duo will be ecstatic to see the two of them starting side by side.
On to the good stuff-
On-Field & Performance
10 reasons to watch 49ers-Rams | Inman, Mercury
5 matchups to watch on Thursday | Biderman, Ninerswire
Pre-game rundown | Barrows, Sac Bee
Don’t hit the panic button on atrocious 49ers offense yet | Barrows, Sac Bee
Over the last 22 games, the Rams are the only team the 49ers have beat | Wagoner, ESPN
Roster & Injuries
Players & Coaches
DeForest Buckner: ‘game has slowed down for me’ | Crowley, KNBR