Los Angeles Rams (1-1) at San Francisco (0-2), 8:25 p.m. on NFL Network. A pair of struggling NFC West teams meet in Wine Country to open play in week three as the 49ers host the Los Angeles Rams in Santa Clara at Levis’ Stadium. It’s also the first meeting between two rookie head coaches as Kyle Shanahan (San Francisco) and Sean McVay (Los Angeles Rams) square off in northern California.

Both clubs lost last week and hope to make ground in the NFC West. The Rams trailed Washington 20-10 at the half at the Coliseum last Sunday and fell to the Redskins 27-20. Los Angeles’ Greg Zuerlein managed to pull his club even at 20-20 with 7:16 left in regulation before the Redskins took the lead back for keeps when Kirk Cousins (179 yards, TD, 18 of 27) and WR Ryan Grant connected on an 11 yard TD pass with 1:49 left in the contest. Washington outrushed the Rams 229-92, while Jarred Goff threw for 224 yards and a TD for Los Angeles. The Rams on third down tries were 5 of 12 (they did have success in their only fourth down conversion) and held the ball for 23:41, while Washington was 5 of 13 and held the ball for 36:19.

San Francisco fell to Seattle again, this time losing to the defending NFC West champs 12-9 at CenturyLink Field. The 49ers led 9-6 with 7:06 left to play before Seahawks QB Russell Wilson and WR Paul Richardson connected on the game’s only TD to take the win. San Francisco did outrush Seattle 159-131, with the 49ers Carlos Hyde led all rushers with 124. Although San Francisco sacked Wilson three times, he did manage to throw for 198 yards and the game-winning TD. San Francisco went 2 of 12 on third down conversions in the land of grunge, Salmon and Starbucks and kept the ball for 23:02, while Seattle ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 36:58, while going 8 of 19 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

Including games played in St. Louis, the 49ers lead the series with the Rams 67-64-3, they’ve outscored Los Angeles 2,973-2,837 and San Francisco has won the last three meetings, including sweeping the series last year (Los Angeles’ last win over their instate rivals came in 2015, when they took a 27-6 win when they were in St. Louis).

First meeting? Week one in Santa Clara at Levis’ Stadium. The 49ers used a pair of Carlos Hyde TDs to shutout the Rams 28-0. San Francisco managed to score at least one TD per quarter, leading 14-0 at the half. San Francisco easily outrushed Los Angeles 150-65, Blaine Gabbert threw for 170 yards and a TD and the 49er defense sacked Case Keenum (130 yards) twice and picked him off twice. The 49ers were 8 of 17 on third down and held on to the ball for 32:10, while the Rams were 3 of 15 on third down conversions, keeping the pigskin for 27:50 (both teams were 1 of 2 on fourth down).

Meeting number two took place in Los Angeles in week 16 on Christmas Eve afternoon. The second meeting was closer than the first but the result was the same, as the 49ers escaped with a 22-21 win in the Coliseum. Los Angeles led 14-7 through the first 45 minutes of play in a game that meant nothing, since both teams were out of the playoff race, before Colin Kaepernick ran in a score from 13 yards out and then threw a 10-yard TD pass to Ross Streater with 31 seconds to take the lead for keeps. San Francisco then held off a late Los Angeles drive that would have given the home team the win. Neither team breached the 100-yard barrier but the Rams came the closest, tallying 99 yards to San Francisco’s 70 and although he was sacked four times, Kaepernick threw for 266 yards and the two TDs. Third down tries in the second meeting were nothing to make the fan base of either team jolly and bright. San Francisco? 6 of 16. The Rams? 4 of 13. Both teams did have one fourth down try and found success and the 49ers ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:03 to Los Angeles’ 28:57.

San Francisco in the first meeting on a Monday night to open the 2016 campaign easily covered the 2 1/2-point spread with the 28-point win but both teams failed to cover the 43 over/under. In the second meeting on Christmas Eve in Tinseltown, the Rams were favored by 4 and San Francisco won by 1 but both teams covered the 40 over/under with 43 points in the contest.

The odds makers like Los Angeles as a 2 1/2 favorite on the road and the over/under’s 40. Both numbers make sense. These two teams aren’t bad teams, they’re not quite playoff contenders right now. San Francisco covers the 2 1/2 and pulls the upset at home.

Broadcast Information: 8:25 p.m. on NFL Network: Mike Tirico, Cris Collinsworth, Heather Cox (Field reporter); Westwood One: Kevin Kugler, Mike Holmgren; SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 81 (Los Angeles Rams), 83 (San Francisco); XM: 88 (WestWood1), 225 (Los Angeles Rams), 83 (San Francisco)

Referee: Jeff Triplette

Injury Report

Los Angeles Rams
QUESTIONABLE: RB Malcom Brown (Hamstring), TE Gerald Everett (Thigh), CB Kayvon Webster (Shoulder)

San Francisco
OUT: LB Reuben Foster (Ankle), S Eric Reid (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE: TE George Kittle (Hip), LB Eli Harold (Foot), S Jaquiski Tarrt (Neck), DB Jimmie Ward (Hamstring)

Weather: Sunny and 66 degrees

Broadcast information, officials and injury report courtesy the National Football League, odds courtesy Don Best, weather information courtesy The Weather Channel.

 

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