Why a Week 18 win means more to the LA Rams

San Francisco 49ers v Los Angeles Rams
San Francisco 49ers v Los Angeles Rams / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages
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IV: We have a Hulk

The LA Rams have found a great deal of success this season by giving second-year running back Kyren Williams plenty of work. But the thing is, Williams will not be playing in Week 18, as the Rams are saving him for the Wild Card Round of the upcoming NFL Playoffs. So who can the Rams turn to in Week 18 to carry the football?

While the Rams will more than likely give some work to RB Ronnie Rivers, my fondest hope is that the Rams unleash their power running back, Royce Freeman, to dish out some punishing runs against unprepared 49ers defenders. Despite getting extremely few carries, only 73 over 16 games, Freeman has been able to churn out 317 yards and a rushing touchdown.

That works out to an average of 4.3 yards per carry.

Whether or not the San Francisco 49ers sit their defensive starters, you can bet that their defensive game plan will be the same script against the Rams as it has always been. Stop the run, get the lead, and then pin their ears back to rush the quarterback and play pass defense for the rest of the game. The 49ers know that beating the Rams merely requires luring Rams Coach McVay into a pass-happy offense.

I believe that the LA Rams offense, with Royce Freeman running the football, can beat the 49ers at step one. When these two teams faced off in Week 2, Freeman never carried the football once. The box score at the end of the game showed that the Rams rushed just 22 times, but passed the football 55 times. And the 49ers defense, true to form, sacked starting QB Matthew Stafford once and intercepted him twice.

Freeman runs with power and authority. The LA Rams, with nothing to lose and trying to show nothing on offense to future opponents, can deceiver everyone by going with a Freeman-focused offensive game plan that will reveal nothing in terms of offensive strategy, but will give the 49ers defenders a pounding like a New York Strip steak that is just about to be tossed onto the grill.

The LA Rams have a Hulk. Isn't it time for them to unleash him, and tell him: "Hulk, Smash!"?