When the Rams host the 49ers in Sunday’s NFC Championship game (18:30 ET, Fox), they will try to advance to Super Bowl 56, also in their home SoFi Stadium. The 49ers won both meetings in the regular season, 31-10 in Week 10 in San Francisco and 27-24 in overtime in Week 17 in Los Angeles.
The 49ers have defeated the Rams six times in a row with three seasons in a row. Kyle Shanahan has outcoached Sean McVay in each of the matches, with his team performing better in each phase through all four quarters.
But it’s hard for a team to beat another team three times in a season. This is the second time the teams meet for the NFC title, the last one was 31 years ago with Joe Montana vs. Jim Everett. This time it will be Jimmy Garoppolo against Matthew Stafford as quarterback.
Here is a complete overview of the 49ers vs. Rams in the 2022 NFC Championship game, including our pick to reach Super Bowl 56.
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49ers vs. Ram’s choices, predictions
- 49ers ‘attack on the Rams’ defense
The 49ers are a dedicated running team with rookie Elijah Mitchell. They are always effective due to an elite offensive line driven by left tackle rock Trent Williams. They are also a diverse fast passing team that mixes great passes from Garoppolo via deep shots and sets up receivers to run well after the catch in the open field, led by hybrid widout Deebo Samuel. Second wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk and tight-end George Kittle also create matchup issues with their speed and size, respectively.
The 49s tend to neutralize the impact of the Rams’ pass-rush, either inside with Aaron Donald or now outside with Von MIller. They also do not force passes in the direction of Jalen Ramsey as they move around their receivers in the formation and Ramsey can only cover one player.
San Francisco has separated Los Angeles’ weaknesses and avoided its strengths. It will continue with great success here.
- Rams’ attack vs. 49ers’ defense
Stafford’s association with Cooper Kupp is hard to limit anywhere. The 49ers are limited on cornerbacks and want their share of problems there, while also worrying about new No. 2 wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and tight-end Tyler Higbee.
Rams need to be more dedicated to the run this week. The 49ers are in the middle of the herd in that area. Balance would help take the pressure off Stafford and not expose him any more to the edge-pass rush from Nick Bosa and Arik Armstead. Stafford must also be on guard against red-hot cover linebacker Fred Warner when looking at the short to intermediate center.
McVay makes good adjustments and wants to see some matchups he likes. The offensive line helps both protect and keep the head well down during race blocking.
The 49ers are a team full of X-factors after their main offensive and defensive playmakers. The Rams are surprisingly indifferent to McVay in using their primary guys and also play old-school when it comes to situations in the fourth down. The 49ers should be more aggressive and creative.
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The 49ers have just won a match this way with their field-goal blocking, point-blocking and field-goal production with Robbie Gould. The Rams have their own money-kicker in Matt Gay and a fantastic rock star player in Johnny Hekker. Richard Hightower has the hottest group for San Francisco, so page there.
Shanahan is good at figuring out what McVay wants to do. He has the advantage over Ram’s defensive coordinator Raheem Morris with the help of offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel. 49ers will have a better chance with first-year defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans vs. McVay and offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell. Give advantage to one former Washington OC over the other.
The Rams do not really have a home advantage in California and are a meh home team. 49ers fans will be in full force despite the Rams’ tactics. San Francisco is a great road team with Shanahan and owns this matchup with him. They will be emotionally charged to run on their upset momentum.
NFC Championship game prediction
The 49ers have a good grip on this matchup for a reason. Their key characters and overall philosophy are more effective than what the Rams are trying to do about them. Stafford is the better overall QB than Garoppolo, but the defensive schedule will affect him more than Garoppolo. 49ers can win on special teams and make an unexpected play. Samuel and Mitchell are key in the running game, while Los Angeles is not running enough to help Stafford.
49ers 27, Rams 24