The Los Angeles Rams take on the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. The game will kickoff on Monday, September 12 at 10:20 PM. ET.
The Rams franchise returns to Los Angeles for the first since the 1994/95 season. Unfortunately, the Rams’ roster is less exciting. After a dismal 2015 season, the Rams used the 1st overall pick in the draft to select quarterback Jared Goff. Throughout the preseason, Goff’s play was so underwhelming that he’s now been relegated to third string and will be inactive in week one. Not the kind of start any number one overall selection would hope for.Instead of starting their future franchise quarterback, the Rams will go with Case Keenum under center. Through three preseason games (he sat in week 4 of the preseason), Keenum completed 18 of 24 passes for 188 yards and one touchdown. The good news is that he had zero interceptions during the preseason. If Keenum hopes to stay atop the depth chart for the season, he’ll need to manage the game and protect the football.
The 49ers have their own quarterback controversy of sorts. Last season, Kaepernick lost the starting job to former first round pick Blaine Gabbert. Throughout training camp and the preseason, it became clear that Gabbert was first choice as the starter. Although, his numbers through the preseason were mediocre at best. Through three games (he sat week 4 of the preseason), Gabbert completed 12 of 22 passes for 146 yards and one touchdown. That’s a pretty week performance, and it says more about how far Kaepernick has fallen then how impressive Gabbert has been from the pocket.
Last year, both the Rams and 49ers had two of the worst passing offenses in the league. With little to no improvement in the off-season, both teams can expect to find themselves in the statistical basement again this season. The bulk of offensive production will then fall to the running game of both teams. For the Rams, that means Todd Gurley will need to build upon last seasons impressive showing.
In 2015, Todd Gurley ran for 1,106 yards on 229 attempts. He had 10 rushing touchdowns and five rushes of 40+ yards. He’s clearly the Rams’ biggest offensive weapon. One area where he can improve is pass-catching out of the backfield. Last year, Gurley caught 21 passes for 188 yard. Since he played in 13 game last year, that averages out to just over 1.6 receptions a game. As the Ram’s only true offensive threat, he’ll need to factor more into the passing game.
Now that Chip Kelly is the new 49ers’ coach, it’s perhaps his last chance to prove that his up-tempo offense can succeed at the NFL level. Through the first two seasons with the Eagles, Kelly posted a record of 10-6 and made the playoffs in his first year. But, in his last season with the Eagles, Kelly went 6-9 before being fired before week 16. Kelly will get another shot with the 49ers, but he’ll need more than an uptempo offense to make up for the lack of talent on his roster.
The X-factor for the 49ers is Carlos Hyde. The running back only played in seven games last year but, when he was on the field, he produced. Last year, he rushed for 470 yards while averaging 4.1 yards per attempt. Kelly likes to feature his running backs in the passing game, if Hyde can avoid injury then look for Gabbert to target him a lot this season.
49ers Vs Rams Betting Lines
Both of these teams are much stronger on the defensive side of the ball. Expect a low scoring game that’s dominated by the defenses. Both offenses should struggle and it’s a toss-up which will play worse. In this matchup the under is a safe bet.
Play: Under 42.5 @ BetOnline.ag