Final score prediction for Rams vs. 49ers on Monday night

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No team has had the Rams’ number the last four years the way the 49ers have. The Rams have lost their last four against San Francisco, scoring 20 or fewer points in three of those meetings. Robert Saleh was a big reason for the 49ers’ defensive success against the Rams in recent matchups, but now that he’s gone, the door is open for Los Angeles to snap this losing skid.

Monday night’s game is the first of the season between the Rams and 49ers, one that San Francisco desperately needs to win. The Rams would also like to rebound from last week’s loss to the Titans, especially after the Cardinals and Bucs both lost on Sunday.

The Rams come in as slight road favorites against the 49ers, just the second time they’ve been favored against San Francisco in the last five games. The 49ers have underperformed greatly this season and have limped to a 3-5 record with Jimmy Garoppolo as their starter, causing a contingent of fans to urge the team to start rookie Trey Lance in his place.

The Rams, on the other hand, are getting stellar play from their new quarterback, Matthew Stafford. This will be his first taste of the Rams-49ers rivalry and even without Robert Woods in the mix now, he should cruise to a strong performance against a secondary that’s pretty banged up.

The 49ers are never a team the Rams should overlook but this is a game that favors Sean McVay’s team despite the somewhat surprisingly small 3.5-point spread.

There are a couple of keys to this game for Los Angeles, primarily pertaining to three players: Deebo Samuel, George Kittle and Nick Bosa. If the Rams can contain Samuel and Kittle with Jalen Ramsey, Jordan Fuller, Taylor Rapp and Darious Williams, they’ll be in great shape because the 49ers offense goes through those two.

When it comes to protecting Stafford, Bosa is the biggest threat. He and Arik Armstead are the only 49ers pass rushers with more than 10 pressures this season. Bosa will primarily be Andrew Whitworth’s responsibility on the left side but Rob Havenstein will get some cracks at the outstanding young pass rusher, too.

Odell Beckham Jr. isn’t expected to make a big impact because of how little time he’s had to work with the Rams, but the offense will overcome Woods’ absence in other ways – like by running the ball with Darrell Henderson Jr. against a defense that has allowed the fifth-most yards on the ground.

The Rams will find a way to win this game and bounce back from last week’s loss, avoiding a two-game losing streak as they often do under McVay.

Final score prediction: Rams 31, 49ers 21

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5 key matchups to watch in Rams vs. 49ers on Monday night