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49ers vs. Rams Preview: The History, Numbers and Connections Behind The Rivalry


The San Francisco 49ers play against the St. Louis Rams on Thursday Night Football in a matchup of NFC West rivals. With a 1-2 record, the 49ers are in must-win mode if they want to continue being relevant in the NFC West and have any chance at the postseason. Otherwise, they face the prospect of losing three of their first four games of the season.

The 49ers are looking to bounce back with a win in St. Louis after losing two straight games. The losses to the Seahawks and Colts were the first time the Niners have lost back-to-back games under head coach Jim Harbaugh. With injuries mounting on defense and San Francisco’s offense being non-existent the last two games, it will be an uphill battle to pull off the win against the Rams. No matter the records of either team, when these two rivals clash, anything can happen.

Below is a look at the history, numbers and connections behind the rivalry.

The History

Of all the 49ers’ biggest rivalries, the Rams is the one I get the most excited about each season. During the 1990’s when the Rams played in Anaheim, CA, and before they moved to St. Louis, I attended each game the 49ers came into the town. I grew up and lived in Orange, CA, which is about 15 minute drive to the Big A where the Rams called home. My dad was a huge Rams fan (he still is now, but remains bitter over them moving to St. Louis) and he had season tickets. So he would take me along to the 49ers game witness the rivalry first-hand. From what I remember, the 49ers dominated the Rams each game I attended and won.

This will only be the second time in their rivalry the 49ers and Rams have faced off on Thursday night. The previous meeting was in 1982 and was won by the Rams, 30-24. The two teams have only met once in postseason since 1950. They played in the NFC Championship game on January 14, 1990, with the 49ers winning, 30-3, in San Francisco in route to the Super Bowl.

Matchups: 127

Series Record: Series tied 62-62-3

49ers Home Record vs. Rams: Series tied 31-31-2

49ers Away Record vs. Rams: 49ers lead series 31-31-1

First Meeting: October 1, 1950, Rams win 35-14 at San Francisco

Last Meeting:  January 1, 2012, 49ers win 34-27 at St. Louis

Current Streak: 49ers lost the last matchup against the Rams, which was also in St. Louis.

Longest 49ers Win Streak: 17 (December 17, 1990 – December 27, 1998)

Longest Rams Win Streak: 10 (November 29, 1970 – September 28, 1975)

Most 49ers Points: 48 (December 27, 1987): 48-0 at San Francisco

Most Rams Points: 56 (November 9, 1958): 56-7 at Los Angeles

49ers Shutouts: 8 (Last December 5, 2011), 49ers win 26-0 at San Francisco

Rams Shutouts: None

The Numbers

2013 Comparison

49ERS (rank)                 RAMS (rank)

1-2 (t-2nd NFCW) Record 1-2 (t-2nd NFCW)

14.7 (29th) Points Per Game 19.3 (23rd)

318.3 (27th) Total Offense 339.7 (18th)

101.7 (18th) Rushing Offense 57.0 (29th)

216.7 (23rd) Passing Offense 282.7 (8th)

28:29 (22nd) Possession Average 28:17 (24th)

28.0 (25th) Points Allowed Per Game 28.7 (t-26th)

337.0 (13th) Total Defense 393.0 (26th)

138.0 (29th) Rushing Defense 105.0 (17th)

199.0 (9th) Passing Defense 288.0 (23rd)

7 (t-18th) Sacks 7 (t-18th)

2 (t-18th) Interceptions 1 (t-24th)

46.1 (17th) Punting Avg. (Gross) 48.8 (t-4th)

-4 (29th) Turnover Differential -1 (t-19th)

  • 996: In 13 games versus the Rams, RB Frank Gore has recorded 996 rushing yards and 13 TD’s on 190 carriers. Gore has rushed for over 100-yards four times against the Rams.
  • 1,138: Number of receiving yards Anquan Boldin has against the Rams in 13 career games. His highest total against any team.
  • 3.5: Amount of sacks recorded in a game by Justin Smith against the Rams in 2009, a career-high.
  • 5: In a 2009 game against the Rams, punter Andy Lee posted a single-game career-high 5 punts downed inside the 20-yard line.
  • 11: Since 2011, the 49ers have an 11-6 record on the road.
  • 6: Amount of games Boldin has had 100 or more receiving yards against the Rams.
  • 2: On January 1, 2012, CB Tarell Brown recorded two interceptions against the Rams. It was his first-career game with two interceptions.
  • 73: Tight end Vernon Davis recorded a career-long 73 yard touchdown reception against the Rams in 2010 game.
  • 6: The 49ers have six victories playing on Thursday night.

The Connections

  • 49ers DT Justin Smith is from Holts Summit, MO, and attended the University of Missouri from 1998-2000.
  • Rams head coach Jeff Fisher was the defensive backs coach for the 49ers from 1992-1993.
  • From 1987-1993 when Jim Harbaugh was a quarterback for the Chicago Bears, Rams assistant head coach Dave McGinnis was the linebackers coach for the Bears.
  • 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and Rams offensive line coach Paul Boudreau were on the same staff with the New Orleans Saints from 1987-1993.
  • 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman was the assistant offensive line coach and Fangio was the special assistant to the head coach for the Baltimore Ravens from 2006-2007, while Rams special teams coordinator John Fassel was on the same staff as an assistant special teams coach.
  • Rams quarterbacks coach Frank Cignetti held the same position with the 49ers in 2007.
  • San Francisco safety Craig Dahl played for the Rams from 2009-2012.
  • Rams defensive back Matt Giordano played collegiately at California from 2003-2004. He is from Fresno, CA.
  • 49ers LB Aldon Smith starred at the University of Missouri from 2008-2010 and was a First-Team All-Big 12 selection. He won Missouri’s Defensive Lineman of the Year Award in 2010. Smith played with Rams center Tim Barnes at Missouri. However, Smith will not play in the game because he is in rehab.

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