Rams vs Niners. Roman Gabriel vs John Brodie. Vince Ferragamo vs Joe Montana. Marc Bulger vs Tim Rattay (thud). And now it’s Jared Goff vs Jimmy G. It has been a long long time since these teams were relevant together and living in their respective spots as rivals. In fact there has only been one playoff meeting, our trouncing of the Rams in the 1989 NFC Championship game 30-3. The very infamous phantom sack game that haunted Chris Evert, uh, Jim Everett, for the rest of his career.
The pendulum seems to swing hard one way and hard the other as these guys have gone back and forth winning and losing. The tally now is 69-67-3 49ers. Nowadays? Well, the Rams and Niners have been trading off sucking and succeeding, but here we are. The 3-2 Rams, fresh off their Super Bowl gagging, and us, the upstart 4-0 Niners, trying to gain some cred as we make our way through this exciting season. The Rams certainly are reeling a bit after losing at home to the Buccos (55 points? Seriously?), and on the road in Seattle. The missed FG being the kicker in the last game.
That’s 85 points given up by the Rams in 2 games. Sure, they scored 79, but there’s the rub. The well-oiled offense is a bit wobbly. Cleveland held the Rams to 20 points. A team we put a soft 31 on. Gurley isn’t being used a lot, and he’s still a threat, but the Rams seem to be playing things close to the vest as they search for an identity.
Goff’s numbers are fairly pedestrian with a 63% completion percentage, 7 TDs, and 7 picks among the 8 sacks given up. His 330 yards per game is fine, and the run game is fairly solid at 120 yards per, but there’s nothing outstanding. Certainly nothing Super Bowl caliber but they can pass and run effectively.
Defensively the Rams are 13th in yards/game, and 26th in points allowed.
We should be able to take advantage of their defensive shortcomings while exploiting Goff’s skittishness. This one looks like a bit of a track meet, so I’m thinking 35-27 Niners.