McVay and Stafford: Everything on the line vs 49ers
Is it now or never for the Rams?
After trading a bevy of picks and quarterback Jared Goff to the Detroit Lions for veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford, the options on Plan B for the Rams roster have been greatly limited. The Rams won’t have a first-round pick until 2024 and their window to contention will close quickly with a complicated cap situation. Stafford’s current contract expires at the end of the 2022 NFL Season.
Complicating matters even more, the team traded a second and third-round pick in this year’s draft for Denver Broncos OLB Von Miller and signed WR Odell Beckham Jr after he was released by the Cleveland Browns. Both Von Miller and Odell Beckham Jr.’s contracts expire after this season.
Both players have proven to be worth the investment, but the Rams are only $190,313 under the 2022 NFL projected salary cap this offseason. This is a situation they need to take advantage of because this could be the best opportunity that they’ll get. We’ve seen various accomplished teams fail to get back to this point.
LA Rams are slightly favored
The 49ers don’t have nearly as much to lose, but they are also trying to finally get over the hump. They made the Super Bowl just two years ago and also lost to the Ravens nearly 10 years ago. They’ve also lost two NFC championship games in the past decade. The 49ers’ expectations after falling to a record of 3-5 weren’t nearly as high as the Rams. They’ll be a slight underdog on the road this Sunday at 3.5 points. Odds are provided courtesy of WynnBET (but are subject to change quickly)
These teams know each other inside and out. McVay and Shanahan definitely learned a few tricks from each other, during their time together with the Washington Football team from 2010 to 2013.
Both coaches use a system that’s predicated on wide zone running and play-action passing with the majority of the routes being crossing patterns or slants. This helps make average quarterbacks look great via The Intertwined Evolutions of Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay from Ben Solak of the Ringer.com. One major difference is that McVay runs this offense with a single back and three wide receivers while Shanahan uses a fullback.