It’s the final game of Week 10 in the NFL season on Monday night and the Los Angeles Rams will be looking to get their NFC West title hopes back on track when they travel to the San Francisco 49ers.
The 49ers (3-5) are enduring a disappointing campaign and they sit third in the NFC West, while the second-placed Rams boast an impressive 7-2 record and have genuine aspirations to win the Super Bowl for the first time since 1999, when they were the St. Louis Rams.
San Francisco suffered a 31-17 home defeat to the Arizona Cardinals last time out, making them 0-4 at Levi’s Stadium this season, while Los Angeles were beaten 28-16 at home by the Tennessee Titans.
Both quarterbacks were on the end of some rough justice in the Week 9 defeats, and while the pair will be hoping for an instant response, the backing is with LA’s Matthew Stafford to guide the visitors to victory.
Rams Defence Eyeing Up Jimmy
If Jimmy Garoppolo struggled against Arizona in Week 9, then he is in for another long night against the Rams, who have excelled in both pass and rushing defence over the course of the campaign.
LA have only allowed 10 passing touchdowns this season – only the Buffalo Bills have conceded less – while Sean McVay’s men record of allowing just seven yards per pass attempt leaves them tied-eighth in this category.
In terms of rushing defence, the Rams have allowed just 896 yards in total, the sixth-best in the NFL this season, while the 4.1 on yards-per-carry is only bettered by seven other teams.
Aaron Donald and Leonard Floyd have been huge reasons for the impressive defence and they both impressed in the Week 9 defeat, making one sack each, nine combined tackles and 12 QB hits between them.
Throw in the fact outside linebacker Von Miller, who has 4.5 sacks and 9 QB hits in 2021, is expected to join those two after recovering from injury, and it could be a difficult time for 49ers quarterback Garoppolo, who sacked five times against the Cardinals.
With the home QB set to be under intense pressure, 20/21 on offer for Garoppolo to make under 21.5 passing completions appeals.
Henderson to Grab TD
While the Rams’ defence has looked solid, San Francisco’s looked shaky in the defeat to the Cardinals and the rush defence gave up two touchdowns to James Conner.
Los Angeles don’t always give running back Darrell Henderson the number of carries he should probably get, but when the play does come his way, he often turns on the style.
The 24-year-old had 11 carries for 55 yards last week, an average of five yards per carry, and he could expose the 49ers if given the opportunity on Monday night. Backing Henderson to score a TD anytime at 20/23 looks a solid shout.
Stafford to Make Amends
Rams QB Stafford suffered his first real worrying moment since arriving from the Detroit Lions this year in the Week 9 defeat to the Titans, as he was sacked five times, threw just one touchdown, and was intercepted twice.
The 33-year-old has thrown 23 TDs this season, only Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes have more, so he definitely has the quality and that error-strewn display against the Lions can be dismissed.
Stafford found both Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp with regularity last week, the duo making a combined 18 receptions for 193 yards, but Woods is out due to a knee issue and this means others will have to step up.
Kupp remains the main man for the Rams and his tally of 10 receiving touchdowns can’t be bettered this term by any player. He is 20/23 to score a TD anytime and 13/2 to score the first or last touchdown.
Tyler Higbee and Van Jefferson were poor last week, making just eight catches between them from 17 attempts, but the pair can shrug off that disappointing performance and get back in the game.
*All odds correct at time of writing