NFL 2017 Week 17: San Francisco 49ers vs Los Angeles Rams preview and prediction

The Rams are resting a lot of players against the hottest team in the country. Who will come out on top?


49ers at Redskins 10/15/17

(Photo credit: Keith Allison)

The 49ers hosted Jacksonville and stunned many last week, with a huge 44-33 win, their fourth in a row. It was another terrific game from Jimmy Garoppolo as he completed 21 of his 30 passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns, however it was the total team performance that really stole the show. Matt Breida and Carlos Hyde were running well, and the defense picked up three interceptions, including a pick six from Dontae Johnson. 

The Rams played a tight game in Tennessee, winning 27-23. It was something of a surprise that the game was as close as it was, but Jared Goff threw for 301 yards and four touchdowns, while Todd Gurley racked up 276 yards on 32 total touches, reeling in two scores. The defense was something of a disappointment, but Cory Littleton picked up an interception and a sack.

Resting the stars

With the Rams locked into the #3 or #4 seed, head coach Sean McVay has decided to rest his key players. Jared Goff, Todd Gurley, and Aaron Donald will all be sitting for this game, robbing us of a competitive game between two in-form teams. The question is can the backups get the job done for the Rams or will they be another victim of the Jimmy G magic?

Momentum

The 49ers are rolling. Not only are they winning games but they are beating up defenses thanks to the presence of Jimmy Garoppolo. Their four-game win streak is the longest in the NFL right now, and they have become appointment viewing every week. I’m not a big believer in momentum, but it’s tough to look at the 49ers and not think that right now they could take on any team in the land and beat them.

Matchup to Watch: Jimmy Garoppolo vs Wade Phillips

We don’t know who will or will not be playing for the Rams, so it is tough to pick out a player matchup. With this game it isn’t a problem though, because in this one there is only one matchup that really matters. Wade Phillips has been the best defensive coordinator in the NFL for a long time now, but his playcalling and scheming will be tested by the NFL’s latest sensation. Garoppolo has made a quality receiver out of Marquise Goodwin and Garrett Celek, this should be a great battle.

Fantasy Tip: 49ers TE Garrett Celek

Celek has picked up 60+ yards and a touchdown in each of the last two games he has played. He sat out of the Jaguars game with a knee problem and is questionable this week. If he plays get him in your lineup, and if not use George Kittle instead. The Rams have been weak against tight ends this year, comparatively anyway, and with starters resting that should be magnified.

Betting Tip: Stay away

The 49ers are three-point favorites, which makes sense with Goff and Gurley sitting, but does that really mean that one of the leagues best teams can’t win? Maybe, but I wouldn’t want to put money on it.

Prediction: 49ers 31-27 Rams

I’m predicting another Jimmy G win, because at this point I’m not going against him, but as I said I wouldn’t be confident to put money on it. The Rams don’t have to win, but that doesn’t mean that the backups and role players won’t be keen to show why they should be getting more snaps.

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Toby Durant

Deputy Editor at RealSport. A life-long gamer, I have been with RealSport since 2016 and spent time covering the world of Formula 1, NFL, and football for the site before expanding into esports.

 

I lead the site's coverage of motorsport titles with a particular focus on Formula 1. I also lead RealSport's Madden content while occasionally dipping my toe into Football Manager and esports coverage of Gfinity Series events.

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