49ers vs. Rams: 2 reasons why Niners win, 2 reasons why they lose

Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /
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Jimmie Ward, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers free safety Jimmie Ward (1) Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

Reasons why 49ers beat Rams in Week 4

Historically speaking, the 49ers do have the edge over their NFC West rivals from Southern California, having won six of their last seven matchups. The only blemish on that record is what happened in the NFC Championship game last February.

While a still-potent Los Angeles offense will be the biggest challenge the Niners defense will face so far this season, one might expect that side of the ball to set the tone.

49ers force Rams QB Matthew Stafford to turn the ball over

A year ago, San Francisco needed a “get right” game against the Rams after a dreadful 3-5 start, ultimately getting one that went 31-10 in its favor in prime time.

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford tossed two interceptions in that game, both into the hands of safety Jimmie Ward, who returned one of them for a defensive touchdown.

Ward might be out for Week 4 this season with an injury, but Stafford is still awfully turnover-prone, already having tossed five interceptions against four touchdowns.

As a whole, LA is tied for third most in the league with seven turnovers.

The 49ers may be in the middle of the pack, defensively, with just four takeaways. However, given both Stafford and the entirety of Los Angeles’ offense’s tendencies for turning the ball over, a few more in Week 4 could prompt a Niners win.

49ers offense manages to do just enough vs. Rams

Yes, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, we’re looking at you.

In fairness to Jimmy G, Week 3’s abysmal 11-10 loss to the Broncos was his first start of the season, coming off not having worked with his teammates during the offseason, training camp and the preseason.

Still, Garoppolo’s efforts in that game weren’t pretty, highlighted by stepping out of the end zone for a safety and tossing an ill-advised interception late in the fourth quarter when San Francisco was attempting to stage a comeback.

Things surely can’t get that bad again versus the Rams, though, and Garoppolo might only need to have an average game in light of what the 49ers defense has been able to do.

Garoppolo doesn’t need to take the game over, no. He merely needs to be OK enough, not make mistakes and let Stafford be the one to turn the ball over.