Third time’s the charm? Feels like we’ve been here before? Division rivals? Those guys again?
The Rams host their friends up north, the Niners, for an NFC Championship battle that should look familiar considering these teams met twice in the regular season.
But you know what they say, postseason football just hits different. And even though San Francisco claimed the previous two battles, and the last six straight (but who’s counting), Los Angeles still holds the edge (-3.5).
It’s striking that the the sportsbook favors the Rams, because recent history has been ALL Niners:
The Rams haven’t beaten San Francisco since December of 2018
The Niners haven’t lost to LA with Jimmy Garoppolo as the starter dating back to 2017
San Francisco is 5-1 in their last six playoff road games, and owns the most playoff road wins (5) of any team since the 2012 season
In two games, the 49ers have posted a stat line of 29-of-36 for 320 yards with three touchdowns when throwing over the middle vs. the Rams, good for an 80.6% completion percentage and 8.8 yards per attempt
This season, San Francisco has pressured Matthew Stafford on 41% of his dropbacks, recording 38 pressures and 7 sacks
Stafford committed four turnovers in those games, throwing multiple interceptions in both – but when he doesn’t toss a pick the Rams are 8-0
If the Rams lose, head coach Sean McVay falls to 0-7 against head coach Kyle Shanahan in three seasons with three different defensive coordinators and two different QBs
How will the Rams finally pull off a win?
STOP(!!!) WR Deebo Samuel. In his last four matchups against the Rams he’s averaging 6.5 receptions, 97.75 receiving yards, 13.95 yards after the catch, and 5.35 yards per carry
Oh, and Samuel threw for a touchdown in their last meeting
In two contests, the 49ers ran the rock 75 times for 291 yards, recording over 30 carries in each
Let Matt Stafford cook!
Fun fact: The club that went 2-0 in the regular season has won the third meeting just 14 of 21 times
It’s all easier said than done, but there’s a reason LA is favored this time.