Published: Fri, September 22, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

NFL Weekend Kickoff: Rams face 49ers, London welcomes Ravens-Jags

NFL Weekend Kickoff: Rams face 49ers, London welcomes Ravens-Jags

Still, the Rams are a juggernaut compared to the 49ers. It isn't incredibly likely with how the 49ers offense has played through the first two weeks, but this could be the week to turn things around.

Four days later, the Rams play a 49ers team that is 0-2 under first-year coach Kyle Shanahan. But if you were hoping for some offensive fireworks after last Thursday's Bengals-Texans clunker. well, I have bad news for you. Donald did not play in Week 1 after a training camp holdout and looked sluggish in Week 2 against the Redskins. He showed flashes of the quickness that makes him perhaps the NFL's best defender, but he also was rusty and in on just two tackles, one for a loss. Hyde is fourth in the league in rushing with 169 yards.

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Jacksonville - the home team at London's Wembley Stadium - has the offensive weapons to give the Ravens fits; it's just a matter of whether or not quarterback Blake Bortles can take care of the ball. While the Rams were 4-12 last season, both of 2-14 San Francisco's wins came at the Rams' expense. A healthy NaVorro Bowman and his squad of young, talented players have done well in the first two games and could exploit Jared Goff and this Rams offense. if in fact, the 49ers offense doesn't reach the end zone again, it's possible that the defense could be the first to put six on the board. Seeing as the trade was made late in the preseason, perhaps it's no surprise the duo hasn't come out of the gate flying (seven receptions on seven targets for 88 yards). Kupp should have ample room to operate as the 49ers defend WRs Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods.

Ward and Tartt appear in line to play after practicing Tuesday following Sunday's game in Seattle in which Ward made his debut at free safety.

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The Rams' chances of defeating the Redskins ended when Goff had a pass intercepted with less than two minutes left.

"It was a good play by their defense", said Goff.

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Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said there would be improvement against a 49ers offense that rushed for 159 yards against the Seahawks. He has done the same almost every time he has been queried about the difference between his rookie season under former coach Jeff Fisher's staff and this season under first-year coach Sean McVay. The only issue with the 49ers' ground game is the lack of touchdowns by Hyde.

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