NFL Preview: Los Angeles Rams @ San Francisco 49ers - Matthew Stafford to take Rams to victory

The Los Angeles Rams will be looking to go into their bye week with a win when they take on the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football. Planet Sport preview the NFC West matchup.

The Los Angles Rams will make the trip up the west coast as they take on NFC West rival the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football.

The Rams (7-2) have been one of the most exciting teams of the NFL season, and after picking up Odell Beckham Jr and Von Miller recently, they now have one of the best rosters in the league.

The franchise has adopted a policy of trading away draft picks to try and win a Super Bowl title. After drafting Jared Goff with the number one overall pick in 2016, the Rams are set to go seven consecutive years without a first-round pick. It is a huge gamble but they are all in.

The 49ers (3-5) have been unable to maintain any consistency during the 2021 season. They drafted Trey Lance with the third overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and have been chopping and changing between him and veteran Jimmy Garoppolo throughout the season. They have also been without their starting tight end George Kittle for chunks of the season, a key player on their run to the Super Bowl in 2020.

With the recent moves made by the franchise, the Rams will simply have too much firepower for the 49ers.

Planet Sport takes an in-depth look at Monday night's clash.

Best bets for Rams vs 49ers

Los Angeles Rams over 34.5 10/3

San Francisco 49ers under 19.5 15/8

Los Angeles Rams -7.5 7/4

When: November 16, 2021 - 1.15am (BST)

Where: Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara

How to watch: NFL Game Pass/Sky Sports NFL

Background Information: Los Angeles Rams vs San Francisco 49ers

As a Detroit Lion, Matthew Stafford went 1-1 against the 49ers

In the offseason, the Rams traded for Matthew Stafford to be the franchise quarterback, a decision that has been greatly rewarded. In recent weeks Odell Beckham Jr and Von Miller were added to a team that was already packed with superstars.

The Rams come into the matchup against the 49ers off the back of a 28-16 loss at the hands of the Tennesse Titans. Stafford threw back-to-back interceptions that ultimately cost his side the game. The addition of Miller means the Rams have arguably the best defensive line in the NFL. Somehow the 49ers will have to stop Miller, Aaron Donald and Leonard Floyd - pretty much mission impossible.

Normally playing at home is an advantage but for San Francisco, this hasn't been the case this season.

The 49ers have lost their first four home games of the season for the first time since 1982 and the third time ever in franchise history. The further back you go, the worse their record becomes. In the past two seasons, San Francisco are 1-8 at Levi's Stadium with their only win coming on October 18, 2020, against the Rams.

Their home form may be questionable but the 49ers love to play the Rams. San Francisco are currently enjoying a four-game win streak against Los Angeles and despite being underdogs on Monday night, history is on their side.

Quarterback matchup: Matt Stafford vs Jimmy Garoppolo

Jimmy Garoppolo has a bigger win percentage in the NFL than Matthew Stafford

Matthew Stafford has excelled since making the move from the Detroit Lions to the Los Angeles Rams. In his first season as a Ram, Stafford has 2,771-passing yards, 23 touchdowns and six interceptions.

He has quickly built a relationship with Cooper Kupp with the pair becoming one of the best quarterback/receiver duos in the NFL.

The Rams succes this season can be directly credited to the performances of Stafford. He has been in the NFL since 2001, making him one of the leagues most experienced players. He has consistently been in the top 10 NFL quarterbacks and because he is now on a winning team that is headed to the playoffs, he is a genuine MVP contender.

Jimmy Garoppolo is a perfect 4-0 in his career against the Los Angeles Rams despite throwing five interceptions in those four games. He will have to be at his best if he wants to make it 5-0 against the Rams.

"Jimmy G" comes into this game off his first back-to-back 300-yard passing game since 2017 - throwing for 648 yards in those two games. The only 49ers quarterbacks ever with three straight games with at least 300 yards and a 100 rating are Hall of Famers Steve Young and Joe Montana.

Garoppolo spent the first part of his career as a New England Patriot as Tom Brady's backup. He was traded to San Francisco and showed that he was much more than a backup, transforming the 49ers and taking them to Super Bowl LIV, which they lost to the Kansas City Chiefs. This season Garoppolo has 1,754-passing yards, eight touchdowns and five interceptions.

He has shared playing time with rookie Trey Lance but on numerous occasions has proven why he should be the starter for San Francisco.

This game has the potential to be dominated by Los Angeles due to their star-studded offense and defense but if you love an underdog then pray that San Francisco plays the game of their season.

Key men

Cooper Kupp - Los Angeles Rams

Cooper Kupp leads all wide receivers in touchdowns

Since Week One of the 2021 NFL season, Cooper Kupp has been lights out and has benefited massively from Stafford being the quarterback. He already has 1,019-yards, 10 touchdowns and 74 receptions, and is the first player since Hall of Famer Calvin Johnson to score 10 touchdowns in his team's first eight games.

He could be on  course to break the NFL record for most receiving yards in a season, currently held by Johnson with 1,964-yards.

Aaron Donald - Los Angeles Rams

Aaron Donald is arguably the greatest defensive tackle in NFL history. He has the ability to impact games despite being routinely double blocked. However, he isn't statistically having his best season in the NFL and is only 13th in the most sacks chart with six.

He is known across the league as being a game wrecker, meaning teams will draw up schemes to keep him from impacting the game. This then leaves his teammates open to influence the game, not many players in the NFL have that aura which makes Donald such a special player.

George Kittle - San Francisco 49ers

George Kittle is a two-time Pro Bowler

George Kittle is one of the few players in the NFL that everyone loves. He plays the game in such a way that makes it almost impossible to hate him. Not only that, but he is also very good at what he does. It is hard to tell what makes him happier, catching touchdowns or pancaking opposition defenders.

He plays the game with a smile on his face and is key to the 49ers offense. San Francisco loves to run the ball and Kittle's ability to block at every level makes him a genuine swiss army knife for Garoppolo. If the 49ers win on Monday then Kittle will have been a big part of the win.

Nick Bosa - San Francisco 49ers

The Rams may have a defense full of superstars but the 49ers have a superstar of their own in Nick Bosa.

San Francisco drafted Bosa second overall in the 2019 NFL Draft. In his rookie season, Bosa was a key player as the 49ers reached the Super Bowl and was the recipient of the Defensive Rookie of the Year award thanks to his nine sacks.

He has seven sacks already in the 2021 season and he will be key to slowing down Matthew Stafford and the Rams offense.

Previous matchups

Robbie Gould (9) kicking the game winning field goal the last time these two sides met

November 29, 2020: San Francisco 49ers 23 Los Angeles Rams 20

Thanks to a game-winning field goal by Robbie Gould, the San Francisco 49ers snapped their three-game losing streak. The win saw the 49ers sweep the Rams for the second straight season.

October 18, 2020: Los Angeles Rams 16 San Francisco 49ers 24

The 49ers finally won their first home game of the season as they beat the Rams 24-16. San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo threw three touchdowns alongside 268-yards. 49ers tight end George Kittle had 109-receiving yards and one touchdown in his side's victory.

December 21, 2019: Los Angeles Rams 31 San Francisco 49ers 34

Despite winning and being in a position to be the top seed in the NFC if they win their next game, it was a sombre mood for the San Francisco 49ers. As they were more concerned about the well-being of third-string quarterback C.T. Beathard, whose younger brother Clayton was fatally stabbed earlier in the day at a Nashville bar.

The win did not come easy, it took quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo converting a pair of conversions on third and 16 to set up a game-winning 33-field goal from Robbie Gould. The win eliminated the defending NFC champion Rams from playoff contention.