49ers 2020 schedule: 5 must-win games for San Francisco

Neiko Thorpe #23 of the Seattle Seahawks (Photo by Rob Leiter/Getty Images)
Neiko Thorpe #23 of the Seattle Seahawks (Photo by Rob Leiter/Getty Images) /
2 of 5
49ers, Rams
Fred Warner #54 and DeForest Buckner #99 of the San Francisco 49ers rush Jared Goff #16 of the Los Angeles Rams (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /

No. 4: Week 6 vs. Los Angeles Rams (Sunday Night Football)

The 49ers get five prime-time games in 2020, and the second will be a home bout against an NFC West division rival, the Los Angeles Rams.

Los Angeles went through a provocative offseason, essentially tearing down what was a Super Bowl-caliber roster from the last two seasons, and their NFL Draft efforts this spring were more than just questionable, as FanSided.com’s Mike Phillips pointed out:

"Jared Goff’s massive contract extension put the Rams in a bind, forcing the team to part ways with guys Todd Gurley, Dante Fowler, and Cory Littleton this year. Brandin Cooks’ bad contract was also cleared off the books for draft picks, but the Rams’ roster has gotten unquestionably worse. The Rams also had a suspect draft, grabbing a bunch of high-ceiling, low-floor types to address their needs. Earlier trades, such as the one for Jalen Ramsey in mid-season, ensured the Rams will go nearly six years without a first-round pick."

San Francisco doesn’t care too much about all of that, of course. But if the Rams are in a downfall, the 49ers have to take advantage early and set the tone within the division.

L.A. could be a spoiler this season, and doing so amid prime time would be a great coup for head coach Sean McVay. But there’s another key reason why the Niners have to pull off a victory in Week 6 on Sunday Night Football.

The following week, Kyle Shanahan’s squad heads to New England to take on the Patriots, who are also going through their own transitional pains, yet figure to pose a serious challenge anyway. Then the Niners take on the Seattle Seahawks on the road.

Both of those games could be tough, and the 49ers must secure a win before taking on those two playoff teams from a year ago.