Where: Levi’s Stadium – Santa Clara, CA
When: Thursday, September 21, 2017, 8:25 PM ET
TV Broadcast: NFL Network
NFL News and Previews
- Washington Redskins vs. Kansas City Chiefs Preview - October 2, 2017
- Oakland Raiders vs. Denver Broncos Preview - October 1, 2017
- Carolina Panthers vs. New England Patriots Preview - October 1, 2017
- 2017 NFL Week 4 Picks and Predictions
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
The San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams weren’t pegged by anybody to make the playoffs in 2017. However, they can make things interesting in the NFC West with a win on Thursday night. Both the Seahawks and Cardinals are in tough this week with matchups against the Titans and Cowboys. Should they lose, which the odds are favorable of, the Rams have a chance to jump into first place at 2-1. Should they win, along with the Rams, the 49ers will find themselves a long way down the NFL West well looking up at 0-3.
The Niners need a strong performance in this game to not fall behind early. A three-game deficit within a division isn’t the end of the world in September, but it’s also not easy to overcome by any means as the year rolls on. This is going to be a huge game for San Fran.
It’s never easy following a nail biting loss, but the 49ers will have to let go of Week 2’s bitter Pacific Northwest memories and move on quickly. The Los Angeles Rams were electric in their opener destroying the Indianapolis Colts 46-9. They then put up a very strong effort the following week (last week) at home against Washington, but ended up losing in the end 27-20. The Rams have been strong none the less and their Points For is among the highest in the NFL.
This will be no walk in the park for the (so far) mediocre San Francisco defense who have currently given up the 12th most yards in the league at 599. To their credit, they’re the seventh best defensive set when it comes to Passing Yards Allowed Per Game with 176.0. However, they are also the eighth worst in Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game giving up 124.0 on a weekly basis. They’ll need to find a way to get their run defense going in a hurry because Todd Gurley is currently one of the hottest backs in football as well.
For San Francisco, it’s going to all come down to Brian Hoyer. Sure, that’s an easy thing to say, pin it on the quarterback. Well, not so fast. For years the Chiefs were competitive with no offense. While this season, you could also make the argument that the Jaguars defense won their lone game in spite of Blake Bortles. So, putting all the weight and pressure on Hoyer really isn’t that far fetched.
For Brian Hoyer to be successful in this game, he’ll need to have an extra second or two in the pocket. When Hoyer gets time, he can shine. When he doesn’t he rushes passes and the wheels come off real quick – it’s kind of the story of his career. He currently ranks 28th among QB’s with 299 passing yards and 31st in QB Rating at 60.7. Hoyer needs time to find his targets. Once he gets that, he’ll have the sure hands of Pierre Garcon and Marques Goodwin to work with; two guys that have show that they can catch the football.
For the Rams, it’s going to be the Todd Gurley show. He currently ranks eighth among all backs with 128 total yards through two weeks and is tied for third in the league with a pair of touchdowns. If he can capitalize on San Francisco’s weak defense, it could be lights out early for the Niners.
Gurley lights up the world with a pair of touchdowns, Rams win 24-14.
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