The Los Angeles Rams will welcome the San Francisco 49ers to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Week 6 in an NFC West showdown. For the time being. San Francisco sits atop the division while Los Angeles is trying to get back on track.
The Rams are in unfamiliar territory in the Sean McVay era. Since McVay became the head coach in 2017, the Rams hadn’t spent a day outside of first place out of the NFC West until Week 4.
To make matters worse, Los Angeles has lost two straight regular-season games for the second time under McVay. Nonetheless, they’re looking to get back in the win column in Week 6 against an undefeated 49ers squad.
Unfortunately for Los Angeles, they are expected to be without Todd Gurley, Aqib Talib, and Clay Matthews on Sunday. Therefore, we’re expected to see more of Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson in the backfield for the Rams.
Regardless of the injuries, this game is shaping up to be an important one for both teams that could have implications later in the season. With that being said, here are the four reasons why the Rams will defeat the 49ers in Week 6.
4. Aaron Donald loves playing the 49ers
When Kyle Shanahan began prepping for the Rams, the first thing he did was game-plan around Aaron Donald. Donald can single-handedly wreck a game with his uncanny ability to find himself in the opposing backfield.
Over the past two seasons, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year has loved facing San Francisco—and the numbers show that. In his last three games against the 49ers, Donald has totaled six sacks, eight tackles for loss, 10 quarterback hits, and a forced fumble.
This time around, the NFL’s most dominant defensive player will get a chance to line up against an offensive line that is missing Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey. Expect Donald to have one of his dominant performances on Sunday.
3. Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson will be busy
On Friday, McVay stated that Gurley was doubtful to suit up on Sunday due to a quad injury that he sustained in Week 5. Therefore, Brown and Henderson will get an increased workload in Week 6.
Earlier in the season, Brown got off to a fast start with 11 attempts for 53 yards and two touchdowns in Week 1. Since then, he’s been an afterthought in the offense with just 61 yards on 15 attempts in the past four games.
However, Brown is more than capable of replacing Gurley and we will finally see Henderson receive some snaps with the offense this week. Los Angeles selected Henderson in the third round of this year’s draft and he is a dangerous player with the ball in his hands.
2. The 49ers secondary won’t have an answer for the Rams WRs
Through the first five weeks, San Francisco’s secondary has looked much better than they did last year. At the same time, they haven’t faced a wide receiver group that is as talented and versatile as the Rams.
Coming into Sunday, Brandin Cooks doesn’t carry an injury designation after suffering a concussion in Week 5. Along with the big-play ability of Cooks, the Rams also have Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods who are tough to cover.
Among them, Kupp has been one of the best wide receivers in the NFL with 41 receptions for 505 yards and four touchdowns. Richard Sherman looks rejuvenated this season but he’ll have his hands full on Sunday.
1. Jared Goff thrives at home
The Rams will be the home team in this game and there is no one more happy about that than Jared Goff. The fourth-year quarterback has played much better at home compared to on the road in recent seasons.
Just last year, Goff threw 22 touchdowns and three interceptions at home. On the other hand, the Rams franchise quarterback had just 10 touchdowns and nine interceptions when he had to play on the road.
As the Rams attempt to get back into the race for first place in the NFC West, Goff will have a big-time performance on Sunday. Since 2017, McVay and Goff have experienced two losses in a row together but they’ve never had three in a row.