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Behind Enemy Lines: Super serious, high-level preview of Rams-49ers with the Rams Wire

The 49ers aren’t playing for anything in the final week of the regular season now that they have the No. 1 seed in the NFC wrapped up. Their opponent, the Los Angeles Rams, could conceivably be playing for the No. 6 seed instead of the No. 7 seed, but they’re opting instead to rest players to ensure health for their wild card matchup.

With both San Francisco and LA treating Week 18 as ostensibly a preseason matchup, we reached out to our buddy Cam DaSilva at the Rams Wire for perhaps the most serious 49ers-Rams analysis on the internet.

You’re all welcome:

Niners Wire: How well does Carson Wentz have to play to start the wild card game?

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Cam DaSilva: He has to throw for no fewer than 3,200 yards and 25 touchdowns on Sunday, which both feel like high numbers. I’m not so sure he can put up a stat line like that in just one game, but if he just throws 80-yard bombs to Tutu Atwell on every play, you never know. If I were a betting man, I would still put my money on Matthew Stafford to start in the wild-card round.

NW: How much does Puka Nacua stat padding mar his rookie receiving record?

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

CD: Not only is he padding his stats, but he’s doing all off this in a 17-game season, which basically makes all of his accomplishments meaningless. Plus, he was a fifth-round rookie, so it’s not like he was undrafted like current record-holder Bill Groman in 1960. Big ole asterisk should go next to his name.

All jokes aside, Nacua is a star and everyone should be rooting for him because he’s incredibly cool, just like his name.

NW: Aaron Donald appears to be ducking the Jake Brendel smoke ... why?

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

CD: As the kids say, Brendel is “him.” Do you blame Donald for avoiding that heavyweight matchup with a Pro Bowl alternate? Maybe we’ll see these two future Hall of Famers go at it in the NFC title game.

NW: How badly are you hoping the Rams don't face the Cowboys?

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

CD: The Rams are the only team standing in the way of a Cowboys Super Bowl. Like, 10% of me believes that, but the Rams are legitimately a scary team to face right now. They’re 6-1 since the bye, nearly beat the Ravens in overtime and have a quarterback who’s playing just about better than anyone at the moment. I would very much prefer if the Rams did not get the Cowboys in the first round, but with Sean McVay resting starters, he doesn’t seem very scared of falling to 7th and facing Dallas.

NW: Did the Rams fall short of, meet, or exceed your expectations for this year and why?

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

CD: They definitely exceeded my expectations. I saw them winning between seven and 10 games but thought they’d fall on the lower end of that range. The schedule always set up for Los Angeles to have a chance, but the Rams have been much more competitive and impressive than I thought they’d be. A big part of that is the play of Matthew Stafford, Kyren Williams and Puka Nacua, but young defenders such as Kobie Turner, Byron Young and Ernest Jones have stepped up, too. Oh, and former Niners cornerback Ahkello. Witherspoon has been pretty good, as well.

NW: Give me a prediction (doesn't have to be for this game. just any ol' prediction will do)

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

CD: Trey Lance won’t win MVP this year. There, I said it.

Also, I’ll go out on a limb and say Puka catches at least four passes and has at least 29 yards on Sunday to break both rookie records. Another bold prediction, I know, but I think he gets there even if Wentz suddenly decides he’s left-handed. Puka is that good.

Story originally appeared on Niners Wire