The losing team from tonight’s NFC West showdown between the San Francisco 49ers and St. Louis Rams will be on the brink of having their season unravel. The game is a must-win for the 49ers if they want to keep pace with the Seattle Seahawks for the division lead.
Many things have plagued the 49ers and Rams through first three games of the season. In the last two weeks, St. Louis has been outscored by opponents, 41-3, in the first half. In fact, they have not scored a single point in the first quarter this season.
For the Niners, injuries and an inefficient offense has lead to them being outscored, 56-10, in the last two games. San Francisco’s defense has not played up to its standards from last season. The defense has allowed six rushing touchdowns in the three games.
In the two contests last season, the 49ers lost and tied the Rams. Both games were close and went to overtime. In the most recent meeting, which took place in St. Louis, the Rams won with a field goal at the end of regulation to send the game into overtime. With less than four minutes left in overtime, Greg Zuerlein kicked a game winning 54-yard field goal.
Tonight will be similar to that game, but will end in regulation. The outcome will be different for the 49ers if they can get their offense sustaining drives and scoring touchdowns in the first half. The Niners are much more efficient on offense when they have the lead. Accomplish that and the losing streak is over.
Here are five things to watch for in the game: