Week 6 X-Factors and Matchups to Watch
Both Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay are going to have to tweak their offenses a bit for this contest, especially knowing how well the other understands the nearly identical systems.
Injuries, namely to Todd Gurley and Kyle Juszczyk, play a critical role here, too.
And if you’re banking on the idea of a McVay-Shanahan rivalry being one of the better ones in the NFC West and the entire league, Sunday’s bout should provide a nice little additional chapter.
What are some of the other matchups and X-factors for Week 6?
49ers Pass Rush vs. Rams Offensive Line
This strength favors San Francisco. Edge rushers Dee Ford and Nick Bosa have been awesome this season, and Bosa all but took over the game against the Browns last week. The Niners are getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks 33.6 percent of the time, which ranks fourth best.
San Francisco 49ers
Meanwhile, Los Angeles enters this bout with the third worst pass-blocking ranking, according to Pro Football Focus.
Emmanuel Moseley, K’Waun Williams vs. Brandin Cooks, Cooper Kupp
The Rams have three prolific wide receivers: Robert Woods, Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp.
The latter two figure to cause problems for San Francisco, especially as Kupp’s 505 receiving yards rank fourth most in the league, and his 41 receptions rank second. Covering Kupp will primarily fall on nickel corner K’Waun Williams, who is PFF’s second-highest graded corner with an 87.0 mark so far.
Second-year corner Emmanuel Moseley distinguished himself well enough last week, too, registering a pass breakup against the Browns.
Expect these two matchups to be highly decisive in determining the game’s outcome.
Justin Skule, Daniel Brunskill vs. Dante Fowler
Two backup tackles against one of the league’s better pass-rushers, Dante Fowler. With Clay Matthews out, Fowler will handle even more of the edge-rushing duties, and the Rams won’t hesitate to line him up opposite either side of San Francisco’s O-line.
Fowler may have only two sacks on the year. But his 25 pressures are tied for most in the NFL, according to PFF.
A 49ers Short Week
It’s always difficult to go on the road following a Monday Night Football contest. Thankfully, the Niners don’t have to travel far, and there are swarms of Faithful fans in Southern California anyway, who’ll likely occupy much of Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
That said, it’s anyone’s guess how the short week will affect San Francisco on Sunday.