The St. Louis Rams and San Francisco 49ers will wrap up their season series on Sunday, as the Rams try to score an upset over their NFC West rival on the road at Levi's Stadium. Unfortunately, the Rams are in bad shape at 2-5 and coming off a big loss at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 8. St. Louis did manage to snap a three-game losing skid with a 28-26 victory over the Seattle Seahawks before that, but the showing against Kansas City won't inspire much confidence.
San Francisco was on a three-game winning streak prior to its last contest, a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Denver Broncos. The 49ers lost 42-17 but had a whole week to shake it off and prepare for the Rams, as they enjoyed a Week 8 bye.
These two teams have already played once this season, in St. Louis. The 49ers took that match handily. After trailing by 14 points after one quarter, San Francisco took control in the third and eventually won 31-17. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick completed 22 of his 35 passes for 343 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions in that game while the 49ers defense managed to record five sacks, their highest total of the season.
The Rams couldn't do much during that matchup, failing to sack Kaepernick even once. They did manage to halt the run game to an extent, with Frank Gore putting up just 38 yards, but they only out-gained San Francisco on the ground by 4 yards.
Just about all of the numbers favor the 49ers in this one. San Francisco's passing offense hasn't been up to par, as it ranks No. 20 in the league with 232.3 passing yards per game despite the fact that passing was not an issue in the first meeting between these teams. But the rushing offense (10th, 125.1 yards per game), pass defense (eighth, 221.1 passing yards allowed per game) and rushing defense (fourth, 84.9 rushing yards per game allowed) are all better than St. Louis' respective units.
The Rams are only marginally better when it comes to the pass. They throw for 234.1 passing yards per game, just a couple more than the 49ers, and they're ranked just ahead of them at No. 19 in the league. But they also field only the No. 19 rushing offense (102.3 yards per game) and No. 31 rushing defense (144.7 rushing yards allowed per game). The pass defense is typically solid, at No. 12 in the league.
Considering those rush defense numbers, Gore and backup Carlos Hyde will likely be hoping for a bigger game running the ball this time around. The Rams have simply been run over by most teams this season, and the 49ers are well-equipped to attempt something like that on Sunday. Gore has 102 carries for 423 yards and a touchdown, while Hyde has 48 carries for 161 yards and two touchdowns. Kaepernick is always a threat on the ground, as well.
Here's how you can catch the game on Sunday:
How to Watch
Where: Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, Calif.
When: 4:05 p.m. ET
Announcers: Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch
Online Streaming: Verizon NFL Mobile
The 49ers opened as 7.5-point favorites, but the line has increased significantly even further in their favor. The 49ers could be had as -10.5 favorites early on in the week, according to OddsShark.
For more on the 49ers, check out Niners Nation.
To keep reading about the Rams, head over to Turf Show Times.