The ultimate recreation of Week 10 of the 2021 NFL season pits NFC West rivals towards one another. The Los Angeles Rams, coming off a disappointing house loss to the Tennessee Titans final week, journey to Northern California to tackle the San Francisco 49ers, who’ve misplaced 5 of their final six video games after beginning the season 2-0.
This recreation ought to mark the Rams debuts for Von Miller and Odell Beckham, whereas it’s going to even be their first recreation since shedding Robert Woods for the season. L.A. has a possibility to achieve some floor on the division-leading Cardinals after Arizona misplaced to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. The 49ers are fairly far again within the playoff race in the intervening time, however they do no less than have a possibility to play spoiler right here.
So, can the Rams get again to their successful methods, or will the Niners ship them into the loss column as soon as once more? We’ll discover out Monday night. However first, let’s break down the matchup.
Methods to watch
When the Rams have the ball
The Rams suffered an amazing loss in Friday’s apply, when Woods went down for the yr with a torn ACL. The Beckham signing softens the blow a bit because it prevents the Rams from having to dig even deeper into their broad receiver depth chart, however Woods and Beckham are a lot completely different gamers. The Rams are virtually absolutely not going to make use of Odell the identical manner they did Woods within the run recreation, for example, and Woods’ facility and willingness to do the soiled work as a blocker is a part of what made him such a worthwhile participant for this offense.
In Woods’ absence, it appears extra doubtless that Van Jefferson will play extra of Woods’ function, whereas Beckham slides into Jefferson’s function as a field-stretcher and again facet risk. It is a function that Beckham is well-suited for, but additionally one he did not notably like taking part in in Cleveland. The Rams go the ball way more typically than do the Browns, so maybe he’ll be extra keen to simply accept that function as a result of he’ll truly see extra targets deep down the sphere. Matthew Stafford can definitely get the ball there on these performs, in addition to these the place Beckham is operating the back-side dig that Woods or Jefferson would typically run previous to Woods’ damage.
Irrespective of Beckham’s function within the offense, it appears extremely doubtless that Cooper Kupp will preserve his place atop the staff’s pecking order. He has proven immense chemistry with Stafford this season, he has the deepest wealth of information of the offense, he is the staff’s greatest route-runner, and he is now additionally simply the most important and most bodily of the staff’s beginning wideouts.
Kupp strains up on the perimeter extra typically today than he did earlier in his profession, however remains to be most frequently aligned within the slot. The 49ers have allowed 46 catches on 55 targets to fit receivers this season, per Professional Soccer Focus, permitting 361 yards and two touchdowns on these passes. That’s, uh, not excellent. Okay’Waun Williams is the staff’s prime possibility within the slot and he is been higher than different defensive backs the Niners have tried within the function, however the 5-9, 185-pound Williams is at a definite dimension drawback towards Kupp, who is kind of massive for a slot receiver (6-2, 208 kilos).
The 49ers’ perimeter defensive backs have left loads to be desired in protection this season, leaving them doubtlessly weak to Jefferson and Beckham performing some harm as effectively. Josh Norman is listed as questionable for this recreation, however he is been ineffective for many of the yr anyway. Emmanuel Moseley has been… positive, nevertheless it’s simple sufficient to assault the 49ers’ different starters that you do not even want to fret about throwing at him.
The Niners are often fairly good at taking away the center of the sphere as a result of protection skills of their linebackers and safeties, however Dre Greenlaw has been out since Week 1, Fred Warner is having a down season, and Jaquiski Tartt has largely not performed as much as his typical requirements, both. It appeared doubtless earlier this week that tight finish Tyler Higbee was headed for a lower in function after the Beckham acquisition; however the Rams now haven’t got the receiver depth to dramatically ramp up their utilization of 10 personnel, so Higbee will doubtless retain a near-every-down function within the offense. He might be arrange pretty effectively on this matchup, too.
The 49ers have been far simpler stopping the run (sixth in Soccer Outsiders’ rush protection DVOA) than the go (twenty fifth), thanks largely to the flexibility of their defensive position to make performs within the backfield. San Francisco ranks fifth in Adjusted Line Yards allowed per carry, and ninth within the share of opponent speeding makes an attempt stopped at or behind the road of scrimmage. The Rams have accomplished a very good job of operating the ball all through the season thus far, however the benefits they’ve within the go recreation makes it appear to be they need to tip the steadiness extra in that route on this matchup.
When the 49ers have the ball
This isn’t essentially a strength-on-strength matchup, nevertheless it’s undoubtedly a preference-on-preference matchup. The Rams’ protection is designed to encourage opponents to run the ball, and the 49ers largely wish to base their offense across the zone operating recreation. Few groups within the NFL use fewer defenders within the field than the Rams, who’ve aligned with six or fewer defenders close to the road of scrimmage on 23 extra defensive snaps than the next-closest staff regardless of not but having performed their Week 10 recreation.
The 49ers have tended to run into heavier packing containers than most groups within the league, so this recreation must be a change of tempo for them. Elijah Mitchell has run into an eight-plus man field on 39.3% of his carries, per TruMedia, the league’s highest charge amongst 49 certified operating backs. He is averaged 5.0 yards per carry into these eight-man packing containers, tied for the ninth-best determine amongst that very same group of gamers. Mitchell has simply 15 carries into gentle packing containers this season, however he is averaged 5.53 yards per tote on these performs. That is a very good signal for his potential to get going towards the Rams, which might in flip set the 49ers offense up for fulfillment.
San Francisco’s go recreation relies on a whole lot of play-action and bootleg ideas, which give Jimmy Garoppolo simpler reads and wider throwing lanes. Garoppolo’s 108.7 passer ranking on play-action throws dwarfs his 88.1 mark on straight dropback performs. The leveled crossing routes which can be the 49ers’ staples on these performs, although, do not work fairly as effectively or as typically towards the sorts of two-high security seems to be that type the premise of the Rams’ defensive coverages. Will probably be as much as the likes of Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and George Kittle to regulate to the zones and discover open area for Garoppolo to ship them the ball.
It is also price watching what the Rams determine to do, coverage-wise, on this matchup. They’ve used Jalen Ramsey within the slot on about 40% of his defensive snaps this season, per Professional Soccer Focus. Utilizing him there permits him to contribute to the run suits together with the defensive entrance, however may not enable him to contribute as a lot as a protection participant in what must be the staff’s most popular matchups. It appears considerably unlikely that he shadows both Samuel or Kittle wherever they go, however we will not rule out the likelihood.
The Niners sometimes block issues up very effectively up entrance, however the lack of proper sort out Mike McGlinchey might show damaging right here as Von Miller may make his Rams debut on Monday night time. Miller has tended to hurry from the left facet of the protection throughout his profession, placing him proper the place McGlinchey would often be. Couple him with Aaron Donald up the center and Leonard Floyd on the other edge, and the Rams have the flexibility to make issues very uncomfortable for San Francisco’s offensive line.
San Francisco 49ers
Prediction: Rams 33, 49ers 23