Greer: OBJ will love the bright lights in Los Angeles
Week 10 in the NFL concludes on Monday Night Football live on TSN as the Los Angeles Rams visit the San Francisco 49ers.
Los Angeles made a huge splash last week by signing the recently released Odell Beckham Jr., adding the former top-five wide receiver to an already stacked offence.
Beckham will be in the lineup on Monday night, but the Rams No. 2 receiver Robert Woods will not be. On the same day Beckham landed in L.A., Woods tore his ACL, ending his season.
L.A. opened as a four-point favourite, but that number has since moved slightly in the Niners’ favour.
Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers
Line: Rams -3.5
Rams looking to rebound
Los Angeles enters play fresh off a surprising 28-16 loss at home to Tennessee. L.A. was a touchdown-plus favorite but faltered on offence. Matthew Stafford threw two interceptions, including one that was returned to the house, and absorbed five sacks.
The 16 points were the Rams’ lowest total this season, but Monday night presents an excellent bounce-back spot, especially for Stafford.
San Fran ranks bottom 10 in sack rate, and 30th in QB hit rate. They just surrendered 31 points to an Arizona team missing both Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins and have been atrocious at home – more on that later.
The Niners rank 25th per DVOA in pass defence, which means wheels up for Stafford and No. 1 target Cooper Kupp. The duo have combined for 74 catches, 1,019 yards and 10 scores, which puts Kupp in rare company. He joins Hall of Famer Jerry Rice as the only two receivers in NFL history with over 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns in their team’s first nine games.
NFL record for receiving yards in season:— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) November 8, 2021
🔹 Calvin Johnson - 1,964
Cooper Kupp is on pace for 2,038 🤯 pic.twitter.com/8qdLBouBwl
As for Beckham, we should temper expectations. He’s only been with the team for a few days, and certainly won’t have a full grasp of the playbook yet.
Woods’ injury actually benefits Van Jefferson the most. Expect Jefferson, who was already seeing five-plus targets per game, to soak up the void left by Woods. That puts his player props squarely in play, specifically over 47.5 receiving yards.
Can 49ers keep pace?
After starting the season 2-0, San Francisco has dropped five of its last six games. They’ve failed to eclipse 18 points in three of their past four, and sledding could be tough versus this stout Rams defence.
Holding Aaron Donald is not going to stop Aaron Donald 😤 pic.twitter.com/PRaWMEylVQ— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) November 8, 2021
L.A. ranks fourth in defensive DVOA and entered the week with the second most sacks. They’re surrendering just 21.8 points per game, a number that is inflated thanks to one bad outing versus a then-healthy Cardinals squad.
Jimmy Garoppolo has thrown for 300 yards in back-to-back outings, but still owns one of the worst passing grades among starting quarterbacks according to Pro Football Focus.
The Niners would ideally love to keep the ball on the ground, but this Rams defence is elite versus the run. They yield less than 100 rushing yards per outing and boast PFF’s No. 1 run defence grade.
When Garoppolo does take to the air he’ll have his full complement of weapons.
George Kittle is fresh off his first touchdown and 100-yard game in over a year, while both Deebo Samuel, who ranks second in the NFL in receiving yards, and Brandon Aiyuk are off the injury report.
Simply put, Los Angeles is a much better team than San Francisco. The Rams grade out higher in nearly every significant advanced metric and have been phenomenal in the Sean McVay era coming off a loss.
They’re 15-6 against the spread under McVay following a defeat, including 11-3 ATS since 2019. They’re a perfect 4-0 straight up on the road this season, while the Niners are 0-4 both straight up and against the spread at home.
Dating back to last season, San Fran has dropped eight of its past nine at Levi’s Stadium, including three straight against NFC West opponents.