Both teams are in must win when NFC West rivals meet up in the NFL week 16 Rams at 49ers free pick. St. Louis has to win out and get tons of help to make the postseason. San Francisco needs to avoid another meltdown in order to set up next week’s clash with Seattle for the division. This has the potential to turn into a defensive struggle, but the total is 45 for Saturday night.
Question Marks Surrounding Rams Offense
L.A. picked a pretty bad time for a disaster of a game in their 44-21 loss at Dallas last week. The Rams completely destroyed the momentum they had built in consecutive wins over the Cardinals and Seahawks. Now Sean McVay’s team needs victories over the 49ers and Cardinals and hope that the Vikings lose to Green Bay and Chicago for LA’s playoff wishes to come true.
How much offense can the Rams put up on Saturday night against the 49ers’ #1 ranked passing defense? Jared Goff was 33/51 for 284 with 2/1 vs. Dallas last week, but he also suffered a bruised thumb on his throwing hand. Goff has multiple TD passes the last three weeks, but struggled at home vs. the 49ers in mid-October going 13/24 for just 78 yards. The Rams at least seem to have found a quality TE as Tyler Higbee has caught 100+ yards in three straight.
The good news is that the Rams defense has looked solid the past couple weeks – prior to the Dallas game. LA held Seattle to 12 points and Arizona to 7 before the debacle vs. the Cowboys. Los Angeles has a top 10 unit vs. the pass – but their run defense has struggled.
San Francisco Cannot Look Ahead Here
The league (and advertisers) would love to see a showdown between San Francisco and Seattle next week to decide the NFC West and possibly the #1 seed in the conference. Of course there’s a big danger when looking ahead and San Francisco showed the tendency to be distracted last week, losing 22-29 at home to Atlanta as -10.5 favorites.
It was a big letdown game last week for Kyle Shanahan in the loss to the Falcons, especially in San Francisco. Jimmy Garoppolo threw for just 200 yards and had his first rating of under 110 in the last 5 weeks. The 49ers QB did have 4 TD passes the week earlier vs. New Orleans however. The Rams run defense did give up 263 yards on 45 carries to Dallas last week, which could mean good things for Raheem Mostert and San Francisco’s #2 rushing offense.
You’d think that the ability to run the ball would keep the clock churning but Dallas scored 44 points last week. The 49ers defense should get Richard Sherman back which does help the ‘under’ play. San Francisco held Aaron Rodgers to 104 yards passing the last home game Sherman was in the lineup. Will the 49ers hold Goff to a game similar to that – or Drew Brees’ 5 TD performance two weeks ago?
NFL Week 16 Rams at 49ers Free Pick
St. Louis is going to have a tough time scoring in this one. The Niners get Sherman back and Goff is battling an injury as it is. San Francisco should be able to run the ball, ultimately keeping this one on the lower scoring side of things.
Pick: Rams / 49ers *Under* 45