49ers hoping to bounce back from miserable start
San Francisco’s loss to Atlanta on Sunday was the team’s 13th straight loss. The 49ers blew out the Rams 28-0 in Week 1, but haven’t managed to win a game since then. The Rams have only won four games thus far this season.
For the first time since Sept. 16, 1979, these two teams will meet again in Los Angeles this Saturday in a game of NFC West cellar dwellers.
This might sound like a bad matchup, but there are some things to be on the lookout for.
49ers head coach Chip Kelly selected some favorite Coliseum moments Monday:
“Just the ones we won down there. We had a couple good days down there when I was at Oregon.”
In Kelly’s first season with Oregon, the Ducks put up 47 points on USC and heaved through 613 yards of turf. The Ducks went to four Pac-12 Conference titles, three Rose Bowls and two national championship game appearances over seven seasons.
As a result, the 49ers made several roster moves before Wednesday’s practice at Levi’s Stadium.
The 49ers started to get busy on Monday. They placed linebacker Nick Bellore and tight end Blake Bell on injured reserve and claimed linebacker Carl Bradford from the Green Bay Packers. They signed tight end Jim Dray to a one-year deal and signed linebacker Brandon Chubb to the practice squad. Linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong signed a two-year extension through the 2018 season.
The 49ers placed wide receiver Quinton Patton on injured reserve and promoted wide receiver DeAndre Smelter on Tuesday. Defensive back Jimmie Ward was also placed on injured reserve, leading to the promotion of note quite royal cornerback Prince Charles Iworah.
The 49ers signed offensive lineman Andrew Gardner to a one-year deal on Wednesday. The 30-year-old has played for the Baltimore Ravens, Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles, Cincinnati Bengals and Houston Texas. Gardner attended training camp with the Eagles before being released on August 28, 2014.
In addition, offensive lineman Josh Allen was waived in order to make room on the 53-man roster.
Kelly mentioned his thoughts on the new roster:
“We’ve had a lot of injuries…We just have to deal with it.”
However, Kelly displayed uncertainty about the Rams quarterback and key players.
“Well, he (Jared Goff) is on the concussion protocol. .. But you have to be prepared for both him and Case (Keenum) and there’s rumors (Sean) Mannion may play, so you have to be ready for all of them. Their offense hasn’t changed drastically from Case to Jared. It’s still their offense. The back is in the feature player for them. [Rams RB] (Todd) Gurley is a talented guy as we’ll face.”
Gurley has 241 carries for 778 rushing yards and five scores so far this season. However, Gurley didn’t make the Pro Bowl this year. While he continues to possess the ability to defeat an opponent by himself, he has been struggling with an average of 3.2 yards per carry.
Rams veteran receiver Kenny Britt has caught 67 passes for 987 receiving yards with five touchdown grabs. Britt is nearing an achievement of becoming the Rams’ first receiver with 1,00 yards since Torry Holt in 2007.
The Rams’ pass defense has been able to limit big passing plays by opposing passers. They completed 328 of 503 passes for 3,219 yards and 27 touchdowns thus far this season. The Rams rank ninth in the NFL, allowing 229.9 yards per game.
The Rams rank last in the league with 14.1 points per game. The team has been held without a touchdown in four games this season.
The 49ers are trying to finish their season strong, but they have to make an effort to avoid struggles in the second half.
Kelly said of his players:
“Well, I think they control their effort and their attitudes. Those are things you can control and they worry about the things that they can control and they don’t dwell on the negative. But, I don’t take jovial as that they don’t take it very seriously in terms of what they’re doing. I think they’re very serious in their preparation and how they do it. So, it’s just they don’t have to dwell on the negative part of it. They deal on how do we become part of the solution and how do we fix this thing.”