San Francisco vs Los Angeles Rams prediction, game preview, how to watch and lines for the NFC Championship, Sunday, January 30
San Francisco vs Los Angeles Rams NFC Championship How To Watch
Date: Sunday, January 30
Game Time: 6:30 ET
Venue: SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, CA
How To Watch: FOX
Record: San Francisco (10-7), Los Angles Rams (12-5)
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San Francisco vs Los Angeles Rams NFC Championship Game Preview
Why San Francisco Will Win the NFC Championship
Some teams just have another team’s number.
Tampa Bay has struggled lately with New Orleans. San Francisco couldn’t figure out Seattle this year. Houston gave Tennessee fits.
The Rams can’t push past San Francisco.
The first loss back in Week 10 wasn’t that much of an outlier. Los Angeles was coming off a beating by Tennessee and got rolled by Green Bay after a bye, but it was still a 31-10 loss with nothing going quite right.
There weren’t any issues in Week 18 with the Rams up 17-0 on the 49ers, and then the mistakes started coming, Jimmy Garoppolo settled in, and the defensive line bounced around Matthew Stafford like a pinball on the way to a 27-24 overtime win.
That’s what San Francisco is.
It’s not always pretty, but it manages to come up with big chunks of yards down the field with the passing game – it least the league in passing yards per attempt. It’s not always consistent, but the running game rolls for 100 yards a game without too much of a problem.
When everyone is healthy and right, the pass rush is relentless, the defense that’s third in the NFL finds ways to get off the field, and somehow it all comes together even without a superstar quarterback or a whole slew of A-list, nationally known playmakers.
As good and as talented as this Los Angeles team is, it has to be able to put this away early. It can’t let San Francisco hang around, it can’t allow the running game to get rolling, and it can’t let the – frightfully sorry for using this term – physicality of the tougher team on the other side take over.
Pressure? The 49ers seemed able to handle it just fine in the cold of Green Bay.
San Francisco was the fair weather team that was supposed to buckle in the snowy conditions, and instead it was Aaron Rodgers who played tentative and – despite the decent numbers – wasn’t up to the moment.
The Rams might have come up massive when they absolutely had to, but they did a slow burn over the final 20 minutes in Tampa Bay when they did everything possible to gag that away.
NEXT: Why Los Angeles Rams Will Win the NFC Championship
Why Los Angeles Will Win the NFC Championship
Just when it seemed like the moment is too big for the all-in Rams team that mortgaged the future for a championship run, Matthew Stafford throws the pass of his life to Cooper Kupp to get out of Tampa Bay alive.
Seriously. Who overcomes a Tom Brady steamrolling comeback like the one that happened in the Divisional Round and lives?
A franchise that’s been there before.
Yeah, San Francisco is 2-0 in the series this year, but Los Angeles was going through some things in the first meeting – it was in a strange midseason funk – and while winning in Week 18 would’ve been a plus, Green Bay had already locked up the 1 seed.
Not to make this so metaphysical, but Dallas played like the weight of the entire state of Texas was jumping on its head. Again, once it became obvious that last week wasn’t going to be a Packer coronation, Aaron Rodgers and company played tighter and tighter, only scoring three points over the last 49 minutes.
That’s not to say that Los Angeles will be loose, but it conquered Brady on the road when the game all but slipped away. It pulled up out of the nosedive after the three-game midseason losing streak to win seven of its last eight games.
Now it gets the San Francisco offense.
Yeah, the 49ers found a way. Yeah, their defense is amazing. Yeah, the special teams came up with the big play to pull off the win.
Yeah, San Francisco came up with 212 yards of total offense.
The offensive line was ripped up by the Packer defensive front, there were too many hits on 10 – more on Mr. Garoppolo in a moment – and now comes the Ram defensive front that got to Brady enough to matter and locked down on a ground game that only averaged 3.6 yards per carry.
And yeah, San Francisco has won twice this year, but this is a veteran Ram team loaded with parts that can pick up the slack when needed, and …
NEXT: What’s Going To Happen, Who’s Going To Win the NFC Championship
What’s Going To Happen, Who’s Going To Win the NFC Championship
Can he do it a third time?
In the two games against the Rams he completed 38-of-51 passes 498 yards and three touchdowns with two wins … and two interceptions.
For the most part, the Los Angeles defense bends against the pass but doesn’t do a whole lot of breaking – one big Mike Evans touchdown aside.
The 49ers aren’t going to run well enough to take the pressure off of Garoppolo, and on the flip side, Los Angeles should come up with a good rotation of Cam Akers and Sony Michel to do a bit more on the ground.
It’s not that Green Bay couldn’t run on San Francisco last week; it’s that it didn’t stick with it. The Rams will stick with it.
This won’t be a flashy game. Los Angeles will have the breakthrough plays the 49ers won’t be able to generate late.
San Francisco vs Los Angeles Rams NFC Championship Prediction, Line
Los Angeles 26, San Francisco 17
Line: Los Angeles Rams -3.5, o/u: 46
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2.5
Must See Rating: 5
5: The last five minutes of Buffalo vs Kansas City
1: NFL overtime format