Monday Night Football Preview: San Francisco 49ers vs Los Angeles Rams

In a rematch of last year's NFC Championship game, the Los Angeles Rams visit the San Francisco 49ers in Week 4 on Monday Night Football in Week 4. The 49ers got the better of the Rams twice in 2021, but the Rams won the crucial postseason matchup to earn their Super Bowl berth. The 49ers are narrow 2-point favorites to get their revenge and potentially win their seventh straight regular-season contest against their NFC West rival.

49ers quarterback Jimmy Garroppolo didn't instill much faith in Week 3. In his first start since replacing injured quarterback Trey Lance, Garropolo stumbled to a paltry 179 net passing yards in an 11-10 defeat at the hands of the Denver Broncos. His lowlights included an embarrassing self-induced safety where he stepped out of the back of the end zone while drifting away from the Broncos' pass rush.

Garropolo's unpredictable vacillation from competent care-taker to infuriating saboteur was one of the reasons the team elected to roll with Lance this offseason in the first place, but it's not impossible the quarterback can conjure some solid play against the Rams: he's an undefeated 6-0 in the regular season against the team with 258.2 yards per game and a 96.0 passer rating. The 49ers don't need Lance's radical ceiling-raising potential to thwart the Rams; they have plenty of experience doing it already with Garroppolo.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Rams will look to continue building momentum in the aftermath of their frightening 31-10 dismantling by the Buffalo Bills in the regular season opener. The Rams held on for a nail-biting 31-27 win against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 2 and controlled the Arizona Cardinals in a 20-12 win in Week 3, but they've yet to prove they'll be the explosive offense in 2022 that they were in 2021. Quarterback Matthew Stafford led the league through three weeks with five interceptions, and the team has failed to field a reliable compliment at wide receiver for superstar Cooper Kupp. 

The plan was for free-agent addition Allen Robinson to draw some attention, but he's underwhelmed so far, hauling in seven of his 12 targets for a meagre 88 yards. The Rams finally beat the 49ers last postseason thanks in large part due to a high-volume passing attack that saw Stafford throw 45 times. They can't all be in Kupp's direction.

The San Francisco 49ers host the Los Angeles Rams tonight on Monday Night Football.
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