The Week 6 matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams will remain an afternoon kickoff. The two teams find themselves next to each other in the NFL.com’s latest power rankings as well, but they’re going in the opposite direction. The 49ers stayed put at No. 7, which makes sense since they had the week off. Here’s the blurb on them:
The 49ers were assigned the unwelcome and entirely too early Week 4 bye, but at least they get to revel in the glory of a 3-0 start for another week. Two major areas of progress for the Niners, who are already just one win away from matching their total from last year: 1) They are making impact plays on defense that weren’t happening a year ago. San Francisco has forced seven turnovers in three games, matching their total for the entire 2018 season. 2) The running game has been excellent. Matt Breida (226 yards, 5.5 YPC) and Raheem Mostert (202 yards, 5.9 YPC) lead a rushing attack that entered Week 4 ranked fourth in the NFL. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, meanwhile, has shown incremental progress as he works his way back from ACL surgery, and the Niners have done well not to put too much on his shoulders in the early going.
I’d say the team greatly benefited from an early bye, considering Ahkello Witherspoon was able to recover an extra week without having to miss a game. Same for Joe Staley. It also allowed the team to game-plan for Justin Skule and Emmanuel Moseley, who the team has confidence in. Not to mention Dee Ford, and a few other players dealing with nagging injuries.
There are still plenty of doubters out there in the 49ers. They’ll ask “who have they played.” Football Outsiders adjusts for an opponent, and have the Niners comfortably as the second-best team in the NFL behind the Patriots. The Browns have plenty of talent. If the 49ers win, which I think they will, that should quiet their critics.
As for the rest of the NFC West, the Rams fell five spots to No. 8 Jared Goff turned the ball over four times, and their defense made Jameis Winston look like a Hall of Famer. The Seahawks moved up five spots to No. 10. The move to acquire Jadeveon Clowney is paying off, as he had an interception returned for a touchdown. The Rams and Seahawks play on Thursday Night. I hope they both tie.
Arizona stayed put at No. 29. Arizona lost 27-10 to Seattle, but gave up two non-offensive touchdowns, and missed two field goals. Kliff Kingsbury refuses to take the training wheels off the offense until it’s too little too late.