This is the game we’ve been waiting for. Unfortunately the 49ers don’t look like what we had imagined during preseason personnel wise, but not counting the secondary play the 49ers seem to be heading into an upward trajectory.
It may be to much to look at the last game versus the Packers as defining of the current 49ers team, but it was very encouraging to see that none of the hustle has slowed due to the 1-5 record. Kyle Shanahan continues to have the team still rolling in 4th gear.
One thing for certain is that Marquise Goodwin is throughly healed of that deep thigh bruise he suffered in the week one game versus the Vikings. Goodwin’s hamstring appears to not be bothering him right now either. That end zone celebration at Lambeau field in the game versus the Packers was proof of that.
Goodwin changes the complexion of the 49ers offense in dramatic fashion. The entire time he was out all observers could talk about was how the 49ers receivers couldn’t get open or create seperation. Receivers not getting open has rarely been a by product of a Kyle Shanahan team.
What takes place when Goodwin is on the the field is that a defense has to play a little softer or the consequences would be disastrous. Receivers were way more open against the Packers than they had been while Goodwin was out.
That same intimidation created in the secondary by Goodwin also effects the run game. It’s again about if the defense doesn’t stay back, as the Packers found out Goodwin can get behind the defense in a heartbeat.
We can look for the connection between Bethard and Goodwin, to become even more effective in the coming weeks, as this is only the first week the twosome has had the chance to reacquaint themselves from last season.
If C.J. and Marquise do that one more time a conclusion may have to be drawn about those two. I’ll leave that passage right there with a “to be continued…”
The Rams will have to play Marquise Goodwin with no one player that can really stop him on their roster.
The 49ers run game has added a legitimate new weapon it appears in Raheem Mostert who has added some of the explosion that the injured Jerick McKinnon would have brought to the table. The Rams specialty is the pass rush. Against the run they can be had especially against one of the better offensive lines in the NFL like the 49ers possess. The Rams have not been up against a top tier offensive line this season.
Conversely the daunting task for the 49ers will be to contain Todd Gurley. Most likely the 49ers won’t be able to stop him, but if they can keep him away from his averages they’ll give themselves a chance to compete for a win.
The Rams will be without Jared Goff’s favorite safety net which on the season so far has been Cooper Kupp.
The 49ers will only have to deal with one of the Rams receivers due to the fact that the Rams are like every team the 49ers have faced on the season, they will ignore Richard Sherman’s side of the field until the cornerbacks playing opposite of Sherman prove they aren’t easier to work on. Most likely that won’t occur this weekend, but that remains to be seen.
Jimmie Ward had a decent game versus the Packers last week as he replaced the struggling Ahkello Witherspoon who seems to have lost his mojo from last year.
Ward came up injured during the Monday night game and Witherspoon will be back on the field as the starter after Greg Mabin was torched in the few minutes he stepped in to substitute for Ward. The worrisome thing is that Saleh didn’t even consider putting Witherspoon in the game?
My worry is that Witherspoon’s confidence could be gone. Hopefully that is not the case and he comes into this game thinking about redeeming himself.
Some of the same issues linger over Adrian Colbert who is not playing at the same level as he did to end the 2017 season.
Colbert and Witherspoon are essential in the matchup against the Rams. If they can have a good outing the 49ers have a great chance to pull off the win.
We can keep in mind that also the incentive is huge in this game for the 49ers. They were flexed out of the prime time spot because of the thinking that this game would be a one sided affair. If a player on the 49ers roster can’t get fired up behind that thought they never will. I’ll be looking for you all during the game and after on Ronbo Sports youtube. Keep your fingers crossed for a 49ers win!