The Rams (12-4) close out the regular season hosting the 49ers (9-7) in Week 18, with both teams fighting for playoff positioning in the NFC. Kickoff from SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif. is scheduled for 1:25 p.m. pacific time on FOX.
Ahead of the game, theRams.com examines 3 Keys to Winning for the Rams, powered by The Wallace Firm:
1) Have your homework done on 49ers QBs Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance
For understandable competitive reasons, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan has played it close to the vest all week when discussing who will be under center between Garoppolo and Lance. Garoppolo is dealing with a thumb injury and was a limited participant in practice all week; Lance started in place of Garoppolo against the Texans last week due to that injury.
As mentioned in First Look, the offensive approach will likely look very different based on who starts, given the gameplan deployed by the 49ers with Garoppolo in the first meeting between the two teams and the vertical element Lance displayed last week. For the Rams, it's crucial to be as prepared as possible for both players so that there are no surprises, regardless of who leads the 49ers offense.
2) Stop the run
While the 49ers averaged only 3.9 yards per carry against the Rams in Week 10, in came via 44 carries for 156 yards from their backfield collectively.
That effective ground attack helped win the time of possession and keep the Rams offense off the field while keeping the Rams defense on the field for extended periods of time. Keep that contained, and the chances of success increase for the Rams this weekend.
3) Limit explosive plays from TE George Kittle and WR Deebo Samuel
Both Kittle and Samuel are joker-esque players, in that the 49ers find numerous ways to maximize their abilities. Kittle lines up in-line and in the slot, Samuel at multiple spots and in the backfield as a running back; both players excel at making plays after the catch.
They also did the most damage through the air as Garoppolo's top two targets in Week 10.
If the Rams want to win the NFC West and keep hold of the No. 2 seed this weekend, they'll need to contain both players and limit their yards after catch.
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