The 49ers enjoyed their best time-of-possession edge, controlling the clock for 38:47. They converted on 10 of 18 third downs. And the two sacks allowed matched San Francisco’s second-lowest total of 2017.
Jared Goff blew an opportunity to close out the Eagles, and it will cost the Rams in losing control of the NFC West a week later. The Seahawks will come out flying at home to make up for their latest slow start in Jacksonville. They’ll swarm to contain Todd Gurley so they can tee off on Goff. Meanwhile, Russell Wilson, with his mobility, his big arm and Jimmy Graham, will have his way with a hurting Rams defense.
The last time these NFC East rivals played, in October, Ezekiel Elliott ran through and over Washington, and the Cowboys won 33-19. The Cowboys, of course, are 0-3 without their star running back. The loser of this game will not be out of the playoff hunt, but their seats would move closer to the exit. Kirk Cousins is putting up strong numbers (3,038 yards, second in the NFL), yet is wildly inconsistent from series to series. Dak Prescott would envy that right now.
In a weird way, Eli Manning to Jacksonville in 2018 sounds a lot more like Peyton Manning to Denver in 2012 than Option 2 above does. If the Giants are ready to move on, it’s safe to think Manning would want to reunite with Coughlin in a quest for one last ring before he hangs it up — with the pair having the last laugh.
Sean McVay keeps pushing the right buttons and can always lean on a big-play running game, too, with Todd Gurley. Even without top wide receiver Robert Woods for a few games, the Rams are loaded with versatile playmakers and still have two dangerous game-breakers in Sammy Watkins and Cooper Kupp.