Two weeks of the NFL season are in the books and we start things off in week three with the Los Angeles Rams heading to Levi Stadium to take on the San Francisco 49ers. Not really the sexiest of prime time games but hey, it’s still NFL football. The 49ers are looking for their first win of the young season while the Rams are trying to improve on a 1-1 early season record.
For the Rams, after starting with two home contests, this will be their first of three out of the next four on the road. They came out with a bang in week one with a dominant 46-9 win over the Indianapolis Colts (minus Andrew Luck). Second-year quarterback Jared Goff looked a bit more like a No. 1 overall pick with over 300 yards passing including a touchdown.
Goff returned to earth in week two with 224 passing yards which included a touchdown and an interception against the Redskins. Although they played Washington tough, they ended up on the short end of a 27-20 game bringing their record to an even 1-1.
San Francisco has losses against the Carolina Panthers at home (23-3) and on the road in Seattle against the Seahawks (12-9). As you can tell by those scores, offense has not been a bright spot for the 49ers. Journeyman quarterback Brian Hoyer has struggled to get the offense going so far and the team will rely on the running game featuring Carlos Hyde to move the chains.
Defensively, San Francisco has done better than most expected, specifically with their front seven. Holding Russell Wilson and the Seahawks to just twelve points on their home field was a surprising accomplishment to most NFL observers.
But the 49ers would really like to get this win before heading out for three straight road games after Thursday. The concern will be how much offense they can generate against Aaron Donald and the Rams. They may need help from either their special teams or defense to come up with a big play to make it happen.
The Rams are hoping to keep the energy going with their young quarterback, and also their baby-faced head coach Sean McVay, who is the youngest coach in NFL history (just 31 years old as we speak). The consensus in Vegas has the Rams around a 2.5 point favorite going into the game. Based on what I’ve seen so far in this young season, it should be more.
Prediction: Rams to win and cover.