Los Angeles Rams (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS, 2-0 O/U) at San Francisco 49ers (0-2 SU, 1-1 ATS, 0-2 O/U)
When and Where: Thursday, Sept. 21, Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, Calif., 8:25pmET
Line: LA Rams -2.5
The San Francisco 49ers were a 2-14 team last season and they appear to be headed towards another rough year. Last season, the Niners’ two wins and both came against the sorry Rams, (28-0 at home and 22-21). But the Rams don’t appear as downtrodden this season under new coach Sean McVay. They did lose at home to Washington, 27-20, while San Francisco is 0-2 despite a valiant effort in a 9-6 loss at Seattle. So this might not be the most appetizing of Thursday night games, it could be a very competitive one.
Goff struggles after big game in opener
In the LA Rams’ 27-20 home loss to Washington, you can’t put everything on young quarterback Jared Goff. He did throw a late interception with a chance to tie the game, but it was the Rams’ defense that allowed the Skins to go all the way down the field for the game-winning touchdown. Kirk Cousins hit Ryan Grant for an 11-yard touchdown pass with 1:49 left in the game. Goff completed 15 of 25 for 224 yards while running back Todd Gurley added 88 yards and a score on 16 carries. In Goff’s interception, he was looking for wide receiver Cooper Kupp and linebacker Mason Foster read the play, picking the pass off and sealing the game.
Defensively, the Rams did a nice job overall on Cousins, holding him to just 179 yards passing. But Washington won this game on the ground, rushing for 229 yards on 39 attempts. That stat was the difference because the Redskins’ apparent weakness was their running game and offensive line. The good news for the Rams is that star DT Aaron Donald returned in his first game coming off a contract holdout and had two tackles.
Defense nearly wins game for the 49ers
San Francisco is not going to outscore most teams this season. Not with Brian Hoyer as the starting quarterback. The 49ers have just 12 total points in the first two games with no touchdowns so they better play some solid defense. Unfortunately for Kyle Shanahan, his offense had to play against Carolina and Seattle, two elite defenses in their first two games. In their loss to the Seahawks, Robbie Gould produced three field goals and that was it for the Niners offense.
They produced just 11 first downs and a pitiful 89 passing yards. Hoyer completed 15 of 27 but for just 99 yards with a pick. His receivers had no chance against the “Legion of Boom”. The good news was that Carlos Hyde ran 15 times for 124 yards. The defense was in Russell Wilson’s face all day (three sacks). Linebacker NaVorro Bowman led the Niners with 10 total tackles.
LA Rams are:
San Francisco is:
- 1-6 ATS last 7 Thursday games.
- 4-9 ATS last 13 vs. NFC.
- 1-10 ATS last 11 after accumulating less than 150 yards passing in their previous game.
It’s hard not to like Carlos Hyde, but what else do the 49ers have? Goff is still learning and at least Gurley got it going for the Rams. Their defense wasn’t bad but they couldn’t get the key stop at the end. But Hoyer is not Cousins and Donald should be better after another week of improved conditioning. Have to go with the Rams on the road.
Pick: LA Rams
Is there really another option? There could be a parallel universe and Brian Hoyer may throw for four touchdown passes. Hey, the Rams are not as good defensively as the Seahawks or Panthers, right? That might be true but the Niners don’t have Steve Young or Joe Montana. The Rams don’t have Vince Ferragamo or Kurt Warner. So let’s take the under and check out some good defensive numbers (or bad offensive stats). This series is 4-0 Under the last 4 at San Francisco.