Back with another week of picks from our staff, and for the first time, we see some loses being predicted!
I have no idea what to do with this game. Both teams are down critical players. The Rams are in a spot where they can’t afford to drop three in a row. I think we see a desperate team this week in Los Angeles. The 49ers defensive line has been sensational this season, but will their offense be able to pick up the slack this game? I don’t think so. Rams 28 49ers 24.
The 49ers are not winning this game. The loss of Kyle Juszczyk, Mike McGlinchey, and the already beat up defensive secondary helps me feel better about making a pick against the 49ers. They’ve won four straight, are the best in the NFC, and had quite a run. The schedule gets hard, they will get their due, but the Rams will win this game...
...Is what I would be saying if it wasn’t for the fact the Rams have issues of their own. Todd Gurley is out along with Clay Matthews, and Aqib Talib. Now things get interesting. The Rams have been able to put together an ‘ok’ running game without Gurley, but this is the 49ers defense. They haven’t allowed a touchdown all season. I’m having a hard time picking this one, knowing the Rams have their own set of issues on the other side of the ball. The loss of Juszczyk makes the 49ers lean on Jimmy Garoppolo, which we haven’t seen yet. I’m still going for the Rams, but I won’t be at all surprised if the 49ers were to win in a blowout with Kyle Shanahan’s playcalling. Plus, the Rams’ backs are against the wall, if they lose to the 49ers, it’s all over for them, and the NFC West is decided between the Seattle Seahawks and the 49ers. 28-24 Rams (Go Niners though)
The injuries do have me a little worried, but every time I predict a win, the 49ers win. I’m not going to jinx them now by predicting a loss. The short passing game/rushing game will be key in helping out the new RT, so look for Matt Breida and Tevin Coleman to be out on the field together for most the game with George Kittle taking on some of the fullback duties. 49ers win this one 24-13.
There are a lot of key players out on both squads this weekend. The 49ers are without their starting tackles Mike McGlinchey and Joe Staley and fullback Kyle Juszczyk, the Rams are going to be without OLB/DE Clay Matthews, CB Aqib Talib, and without Todd Gurley, who, as of Wednesday caught the Rams off guard with his injury, as of Friday was listed as questionable, and as of 2 hours ago on Saturday afternoon has been ruled out.
The 49ers defensive front will, as usual, be key again in winning this game. The Rams interior offensive line is not good, and outside of Andrew Whitworth, the entire line is not very good at all, with four of five linemen boasting PFF grades of 53 or less. Conversely, the 49ers’ defensive line is as good as any and healthy. The unit is led by rookie defensive end Nick Bosa, who recorded two sacks and nine total pressures in the Monday night game against the Browns. Jared Goff is also not good under pressure, ranking 22nd in the league per PFF. It should be a long afternoon for Goff and the Rams offense. The 49ers win this one 28-17.
This will be ugly, between the Niners’ injuries and all the pressure on Goff, which he is not good at handling. Ford and Bosa are both healthy for the first time, and Gurley’s out. That means McVay has no choice really other than a short passing game, but the Niners have good, fast linebackers now and will be ready for it. I expect a low-scoring game decided by one or more big defensive plays. And this year, that means the 49ers win, 17-9.
Both teams are dealing with injuries. My biggest questions are: Can the 49ers find success on the ground without Kyle Juszczyk and Mike McGlinchey? Can the defense keep Jared Goff and his receiving options in check? If the 49ers win both of these battles, then I believe they will pull out a tough...and ugly victory on the road. The 49ers are going to be playing a desperate Rams squad who have lost their last two. I expect this to be a low scoring game, and because of that, it’s advantage defense, and that means advantage 49ers...barely...just barely.
49ers 17, Rams 14