No. 2: 49ers Defense Holds RB Todd Gurley to Under 100 Yards
The 49ers likely win the game if they hold Rams standout running back Todd Gurley to less than 100 yards on the ground.
In many ways, Los Angeles’ offense is much like that of San Francisco. Neither team has a solid answer at quarterback. And the Rams can’t count on a reliable crop of pass catchers either. Much like the 49ers.
So that means the running game. A lot of it.
Like the Niners with tailback Carlos Hyde (we’ll get to him shortly), Los Angeles will be featuring Gurley as much as possible. Running against the 49ers defense in sub packages is probably what Rams head coach Jeff Fisher will want to do.
It will help keep possession in Los Angeles’ favor. And it will wear down the Niners defense as well.
This means the pressure will be on All-Pro linebacker NaVorro Bowman, who excelled against the run in 2015 and led the NFL in tackles last year with 116.
Other run stuffers, like nose tackles Mike Purcell and Glenn Dorsey, will be asked to make notable contributions as well.
San Francisco wins if Gurley doesn’t crest the 100-yard plateau.
Next: RB Carlos Hyde Eclipses Last Year's Week 1 Mark