SSG Pro Football Week Four Game of the Week

Sunday, October 1st

San Francisco 49ers @ St Louis Rams

In a 3 way tie for first place in the NFC West, this matchup is a big Divisional game early in the season.

San Francisco Run Offense versus St Louis Run Defense

The 49ers running game is led by veteran Running Back Matt Forte who has been impressive over the first 3 games of the season. He is currently 2nd in the SSG for average yards per carry with an impressive 6.61.  When Forte is not on the field it does not get easier for opposing defenses as they have to deal with Carlos Hyde who has been impressive with an average yards per carry of 6.35. Both backs are having success behind a solid run blocking offensive line. They go up against a Rams Defense that has struggled against the run so far this season. The 49ers like to run the ball up the middle and to the left side, up the middle is where the Rams are strong defensively but even with the talent they have it has not produced results in stopping the run. They are giving up an average of 130 rushing yards per game. The 49ers might take advantage of the weak right side of their defense and run the ball to the outside of the tackle on the left side of the line. Hyde could be a big factor if they utilize his great speed to the outside.

Verdict: San Francisco 49ers

 

St Louis Run Offense versus San Francisco Run Defense

The Rams have one of the more talented running backs in the SSG in Todd Gurley.  He has back to back 1000+ yard seasons and is on pace to have another big year. He currently leads the SSG with 323 rushing yards. Gurley has a decent offensive line but it is not one that is built for run blocking it is built more to protect the QB, with a back like Gurley you don’t need to have top run blockers. He is an explosive back that when he gets the ball and bounces to the outside watch out he averages almost 8 yards per carry when running to the outside. To this point, they have gone up against weaker run defenses and this week will be a big test as they go up against a defense that has been stingy against the run so far, allowing just 87 yards per game. They do not look like a defense that is built to stop the run on paper with a Defensive line that does not have a top run stopper. Starting DE Armstead is out with injury and will be a big loss for this Defense.

Verdict: St Louis Rams

 

San Francisco Pass Offense versus St Louis Pass Defense

Led by QB Kaepernick the 49ers have one of the better pass attacks early on this season. Kaepernick’s ability to hurt you with his legs make it difficult for defenses to commit to send a lot of pressure in fear that he will run the ball. He is having success getting the ball to stud wideout Smith who leads the league in Yards after the catch and average completion. This guy is a game breaker and if you do happen to get pressure on Kaepernick he will roll out and either run it or dump off to Smith who can break it loose for a big gain. This is a tough pass offense to defend, with a solid Tight End and Running backs that can catch and help out the pass offense. They go up against a Rams pass Defense that has struggled against a good pass offense and were exposed last week against Atlanta. The Rams have a great corner in Jenkins but they do not have much outside of Jenkins and the 49ers have the weapons to expose the lack of talent in the Rams secondary.

Verdict: San Francisco 49ers

 

St Louis Pass Offense versus San Francisco Pass Defense

The Rams are not a team that is going to beat you by passing the ball, they will be a balanced attack and will rely on the running game to open up the passing game. QB Mannion has done a great job managing the offense so far this season and has had success protecting the ball. He is the only starting QB that has not thrown an interception yet. He has had success on long passes this season and if they can have success on the ground it will allow them to have success on the deep pass. They spread the ball around well also, making it difficult to focus on one receiver. With the 49ers being weak at corner, Britt and Austin could both have a big game, the Rams Oline gives great pass protection allowing time for Mannion to hit his receivers in stride. 49ers Lynch and Hightower are good pass rushers and will need to get to the QB and force a rare mistake from Mannion.

Verdict: St Louis Rams

 

KEY MATCHUP

I think this is a fascinating matchup and it is tough to focus on one particular matchup. However, I believe it will come down to which team can stop the run, both teams rely on their running game to set up the success of their pass attack. Whichever defense handles the running games will win this one.

PREDICTION

San Francisco 49ers  24  St Louis Rams  21

 

 

 

 

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