The Rams are back on the road in Week 4, taking on the 49ers at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. Kickoff on Monday, October 3 is scheduled for 5:15 p.m. pacific time on ESPN.
In advance of the contest, here is your First Look at Rams-49ers:
Notable 49ers additions
- Re-signed RB Jeff Wilson to a 1-year deal in March: While not a new addition, Wilson's return was still an important offseason transaction, especially in wake of starter Elijah Mitchell landing on Injured Reserve on Sept. 13 due to a knee injury sustained in Week 1.
- Selected QB Brock Purdy in the seventh round (262nd overall) in this year's NFL Draft: Mr. Irrelevant this spring is very much relevant now in the fall. With Jimmy Garoppolo replacing Trey Lance as the starter following Lance's season-ending ankle injury in Week 2, Purdy is the 49ers' new backup quarterback.
Top performers in Week 4
Garoppolo completed 18 of 29 pass attempts for 211 yards with one touchdown, one interception and one lost fumble in San Francisco's 11-10 loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday Night Football.
Wilson led the 49ers backfield with a team-high 12 carries for 75 yards.
Although WR Deebo Samuel had a team-high five catches for 73 yards, it was WR Brandon Aiyuk (three catches for 39 yards) who was on the receiving end of Garoppolo's lone touchdown pass.
LB Dre Greenlaw led San Francisco's defense with a game-high 10 total tackles.
Early storylines to watch, and what they mean for the Rams
Given how the offseason unfolded with the 49ers committing to Lance as their starter, and reportedly attempting to trade Garoppolo throughout it before restructuring his contract and keeping him, the Rams probably didn't foresee a scenario in which they were preparing to face Garoppolo instead of Lance in Week 4.
Yet, here we are because of the unfortunate injury to Lance.
Los Angeles' defense will be preparing for a different San Francisco offense – Garoppolo and Lance's skillsets are different, and it's evident based on how San Francisco's offense was run with each under center – but it's still one they are likely familiar with based on last season. It will also be preparing for a San Francisco offense that will be without starting left tackle Trent Williams, who sustained a high ankle sprain against Denver and will miss "some time," according to 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan.
Both of those developments lead the focus to two areas: The Rams' linebackers, as well as their pass rush.
The Broncos took advantage of Williams' absence at edge with outside linebacker Randy Gregory getting home for a sack. Denver's defense had four total overall, plus another six QB hits.
Meanwhile, games like this – based on how the 49ers offense played last season – are why a linebacker like Bobby Wagner is brought in – to eliminate, or at least minimize, the passes over the middle that led to catch-and-run opportunities for the 49ers wide receivers.
Collectively, those two things will be important for the Rams in order to come away with a primetime win and move to 2-0 in the NFC West.