4 players to watch in Rams vs. 49ers on Monday

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·5 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

What a wild couple of weeks it has been for the Los Angeles Rams. Ahead of the trade deadline, the Rams acquired Von Miller from the Denver Broncos, and they now have signed Odell Beckham Jr. following his release from the Cleveland Browns.

In the middle of those two moves, though, Los Angeles suffered a disappointing loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday Night Football in Week 9. With the Arizona Cardinals still surging, that makes the Rams’ upcoming meeting with the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football even more vital in the grand scheme of things.

Despite San Francisco not being an immediate threat to Los Angeles at 3-5, any divisional game should be viewed as a must-win for the Rams if they want to catch the Cardinals. And after getting punched in the mouth on primetime television by Tennessee in Week 9, Los Angeles has an opportunity to set the record straight in Week 10.

There are plenty of storylines surrounding Sean McVay’s squad, with the additions of Miller and Beckham drawing a ton of buzz. While we will have to wait until Monday night to watch Los Angeles play, here are four players on the Rams to pay attention to in their impending matchup versus the 49ers.

Andrew Whitworth

(AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)

It was a dismal showing from the offensive line of the Rams in Week 9 against the Titans. Matthew Stafford was sacked a season-high five times after being sacked just seven times in the previous eight weeks.

Some of the sacks could be credited to Stafford for holding onto the ball too long, but others were direct results of poor pass protection. Entering Monday night’s contest, Brian Allen holds a questionable tag with an elbow injury, so Coleman Shelton could be starting at center in Week 10.

While Shelton would be one to watch, Andrew Whitworth is going to have his hands full with Nick Bosa on Monday night. Bosa leads the 49ers with seven sacks this season, and he drew high praise from Whitworth during the offseason.

Outside of Bosa, San Francisco doesn’t have many guys that are enforcing pressure on the quarterback, so slowing down the young edge rusher is going to be crucial for Los Angeles. Seeing that Whitworth is still playing at an All-Pro level for the Rams, I expect him to handle his business on Monday night.

Von Miller

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

I had Miller listed as a player to watch last week, only for him to be in street clothes in what could have been his debut for the Rams. Miller is nursing an ankle injury he had with Denver before arriving in Los Angeles.

McVay iterated that Miller is making great progress on Thursday and that the Rams are optimistic that he’ll suit up on Monday night versus the 49ers. With there being a chance he officially makes his debut in Week 10, I’ll list him here again.

Once Miller does touch the field, there’s no doubt that the entire commentary of the game will be centered around the All-Pro edge rusher. Upon his arrival, Miller has 19 combined tackles, seven tackles for loss, and 4.5 sacks in seven games.

It is going to be must-watch television to see Miller rushing the passer alongside Aaron Donald and Leonard Floyd. Let’s just hope that Monday is when we get to see No. 40 – which is a disgusting number by the way and not in a good way – dawn the horns in a meaningful game for the first time against a division foe.

Greg Gaines

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Sebastian Joseph-Day was playing remarkably for the Rams this season before suffering a pec injury that could sideline him for the rest of the season. Joseph-Day had 38 combined tackles and three sacks, and he was well on his way to having a career year before sustaining his unfortunate injury.

With Joseph-Day out, Greg Gaines has seen more playing time, and it’s safe to say he’s performed well thus far. Gaines saw a season-high 98% of the defensive snaps in Week 9, logging three tackles and half a sack.

At the nose tackle position, Gaines has provided the Rams with plenty of production in the pass-rushing department. But against a run-centric team like the 49ers, Gaines will need to remain stout in the run game this week.

In the two meetings between Los Angeles and San Francisco in 2020, the 49ers combined for 234 rushing yards to defeat the Rams in both games. Los Angeles has allowed the seventh-fewest rushing yards per game through nine weeks, but Gaines and the other members of the Rams’ defense will need to keep the backfield of the 49ers contained, forcing Jimmy Garoppolo to win the game with his arm.

Jordan Fuller

(AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

When Jordan Fuller was voted a captain by members of the Rams, some people were surprised to see the second-year safety tasked with being a leader on the defense. Fuller has responded by leading the team with 67 tackles, which is already seven more than he had in his rookie campaign in 2020.

While he’s been a reliable tackler this season, we haven’t seen Fuller force a turnover yet after recording three interceptions a season ago. I believe that could change on Monday night against Garoppolo and the 49ers.

The last time we saw Fuller intercept a pass was in Week 12 of last season, a game against San Francisco. That came just a week after Fuller posted two interceptions versus Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Even though Fuller has been quiet in pass coverage thus far, the stars are aligning for him to get his first turnover of the season on Monday Night Football.

1

1

1

1