It seems like every time the 49ers play the Rams recently. Their season is on the line.
Their most recent matchup was the NFC Championship Game, so the stakes there were obvious. Before that, the two teams matched up in Week 18, with the 49ers needing a win to secure a playoff spot. The game before that, the 49ers came into the game 3-5, and their season was circling the drain.
The circumstances may not seem quite so dire tonight as the team’s record is only 1-2, but only slightly. A win at home could serve as a nice springboard to a potential 4-2 start with games against Atlanta and Carolina coming up after this week. Plus, a win would not only even the 49ers’ record at 2-2, but it would also give them another divisional win, which could be important when tiebreakers come into play at the end of the season.
A loss, on the other hand, drops the team to 1-3 and could put them right back into that familiar 3-5 hole they were in last season with rematches against the Rams and Super Bowl LIV foe Kansas City looming large before the bye week.
Plus, let’s just be honest; it feels damn good to beat the Rams. It’s one of the few games during the year when it genuinely seems like the players don’t like each other. Don’t forget, Aaron Donald said as much on NFL Network during training camp in July.
“I don’t like the Niners at all. They don’t like us.”— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) July 31, 2022
“No love at all towards them guys. I really dislike them.”
One more from @AaronDonald97, stating the obvious.
❓from @MJD @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/ve5PMor32k
It’s also possible the Rams may still be a little salty about this hit that Fred Warner put on Matt Stafford in January.
Warner himself expressed remorse after the game.
“I never do anything out of malicious intent,” Fred told reporters. “I watched the video, it looks bad. . . . He was in my way, and I made the hit. . . . Looking back at it, I feel bad about it.”
We’ll find out how the Rams feel about it tonight when they meet for the first time since last season’s playoff game.
Don’t forget you can join us immediately following the game for the Niners Nation Instant Reaction podcast! We’ll take your questions and comments and give you our thoughts on what went down.
Hear more about this and other stories in today’s 49ers in Five podcast. Our five minute daily update gives you the latest news, best audio clips, and everything else you need to know about the team. Subscribe to the Niners Nation Podcast Network today so you don’t miss an episode!