Five things to watch for in 49ers' Sunday Night Football game vs. Rams Staff
·2 min read

Five things to watch in 49ers' must-win SNF game vs. Rams originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Sunday is the closest thing to a "must win" for the San Francisco 49ers as they look to get their season back on track. The 49ers look to play catchup in the NFC West during their primetime matchup against the Los Angeles Rams on "Sunday Night Football." Here are five things to watch for in the Week 6 matchup.

1. Aaron Donald

Aaron Donald has, and continues to be, one of the most dominate pass rushers in the NFL. Last week in the Rams 30-10 road win over the Washington Football Team, Donald was a human wrecking ball, notching four sacks, three quarterback hits, three tackles for loss and forced a fumble. As a result, Donald was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week.

The 49ers have struggled to keep their quarterbacks upright, allowing 18 sacks through five games, the fourth-most in the league, and five sacks in each of the team's last two matchups. Kyle Shanahan said this week that several were the result of busted protections and miscommunications of the offensive line in the blowout loss to the Miami Dolphins.

Those errors hindered the 49ers by way of stalled drives and turnovers. After registering just one giveaway through their first four contests, the 49ers have recorded four over the last two games. Those critical mistakes can't happen against a Rams team that is tied for the league lead with 20 sacks.

Donald has 7.5 of the team's total, along with six tackles for loss, 13 quarterback hits and a league-high 33 pressures. Mitigating those errors are crucial if the 49ers offense has any hopes of sustaining drives and putting points on the board.