49ers schedule: Predicting record vs. NFC West in 2022

George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers
Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

42. Prediction. 24. 51. 21

Week 4: 49ers vs. Rams

Ah, yes. The grudge match stems from the NFC Championship game last February.

It took a late fourth-quarter collapse by the 49ers to ensure that game panned out the way it did, and Kyle Shanahan would love nothing more than to reignite the historical dominance he has over his friend and rival, Rams head coach Sean McVay.

In fact, prior to that NFC Championship loss, the Niners had won six in a row over their Southern California rivals, and one could make the argument San Francisco’s offseason additions at cornerback, namely Charvarius Ward, were intended to address the primary weakness Los Angeles’ offense took advantage of in all three matchups last season.

This all sounds nice, but it’s important to note we’re still going to be early in the football year, and second-year quarterback Trey Lance is still a long way off from being able to prove he can go toe-to-toe against LA quarterback Matthew Stafford, who’ll look to re-spark the 2021 magic with All-Pro wide receiver Cooper Kupp.

If you were indeed a non-biased voter and had to choose between Lance and Stafford, you’d go with the latter every time.

Stafford proves to be the difference in this Week 4 contest, meaning the 49ers start their NFC West campaign 1-1.