Ngày đăng: 12/09/2019
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Although the Los Angeles Rams
already wrapped up their second straight NFC West title four weeks ago K’Waun Williams Jersey , they’re embracing the chance to rub it in.The Rams (12-3) will go for a six-game sweep of their three divisional opponents Sunday when they host the San Francisco 49ers (4-11). A win also clinches the No. 2 playoff seed and a first-round bye, leaving Los Angeles with no shortage of motivation heading into the Coliseum.“That’s huge to show that,” Rams quarterback Jared Goff said of the potential sweep. “To truly win the division with our record, but really win the division with our games against our division opponents, to be 6-0 would be saying something, for sure. That really means more.”West Coast supremacy matters to everyone associated with the Rams during the franchise’s quest to rebuild its LA fan base heading into a new stadium in 2020.The Rams are 9-2 against San Francisco, Seattle and Arizona since coach Sean McVay took over last season, and they’ve only lost once in a game that mattered. McVay rested his starters for a 34-13 season-finale loss to the Niners last year, likely depriving Todd Gurley of the NFL rushing title and possibly affecting Los Angeles’ momentum heading to the postseason.San Francisco won’t get a break this weekend: Chicago could steal the Rams’ first-round bye if the Bears beat Minnesota and the Rams lose to the Niners, so Los Angeles has every reason to not let up.“It would say a lot,” McVay said of the Rams’ potential NFC West sweep. “To be able to accomplish that at home would mean a lot, because there’s three tough division opponents that we go against twice a year. To be able to do that, and then what that also means is being able to secure a first-round bye, that’s a big deal.”While Gurley could miss his second straight game with a minor knee injury, the Rams likely will be using every other healthy player against the Niners, whose lengthy list of injury absences includes running back Matt Breida and receiver Dante Pettis.The 49ers are wrapping up their fourth consecutive losing season and their fifth straight non-playoff season since making their third straight NFC title game in January 2014, but coach Kyle Shanahan remains optimistic and focused heading into another meeting with McVay, his friend and fellow offensive mastermind.“We’ve been disappointed in our year, but we also know this isn’t ending for us Joe Staley Jersey ,” Shanahan said. “We’re trying to build something and trying to turn this place around. We’ve got a lot of guys in here who want to be a part of that. Players, coaches, personnel guys. So even though this year is coming to an end for us, we know it has a lot to do with next year, and guys are trying to prove they want to be a part of that.”Here are more things to watch in the season finale:DONALD’S DAYAaron Donald has an outside chance to make history. The Rams’ dominant defensive tackle is three sacks shy of matching Michael Strahan’s NFL record of 22½ sacks. That’s a tall order for the undersized lineman, but Donald tends to record his sacks in bunches, getting two or more sacks in seven games while going without a sack in six games. He got three last week against Arizona, and he got a whopping four in the Rams’ first meeting with the Niners this season. With even two sacks in the finale, he would be the second player to record eight multi-sack games in a season, joining Reggie White in 1987.KITTLE’S CHASESan Francisco tight end George Kittle heads into the final game in position to set a record for the most prolific season ever at the position. Kittle has 1,228 yards receiving this season and needs 100 to pass Rob Gronkowski (2011) for most ever in a season by a tight end. Kittle is not alone in pursuit, with Kansas City’s Travis Kelce even closer with 1,274 yards.CJ AGAINEven if Gurley doesn’t sit out, the Rams might give some of his workload to veteran C.J. Anderson, who is fitting right in with his new team. The sixth-year pro rushed for 167 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries in his Rams debut last week at Arizona.MIGHTY MULLENSNick Mullens has impressed his coaches in his half-season as starter. Mullens’ 1,995 yards passing are the third most since the merger through seven career games, trailing only Patrick Mahomes and Cam Newton. He also has thrown for at least 220 yards in every start, tied for the longest streak in San Francisco history behind a nine-gamer for Joe Montana in 1985-86. “He’s played very well and gotten better, to me Steve Young Jersey , each game he’s played,” Shanahan said. “It’s just about taking it to another level. How much better can you get? How much more consistent can you get?”FOURTH STRINGERThe Niners will finish their season with their fourth-string running back carrying the load. Starter Jerick McKinnon tore up his knee a week before the opener, third-stringer Raheem Mostert broke his arm on Nov. 1 and now Breida is out with another ankle injury. Jeff Wilson Jr. has 314 yards from scrimmage the past four games as Breida has been in and out of the lineup with the bad ankle. SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Richard Sherman has been around the NFL long enough that playing in exhibition games might not seem to be of critical importance.But after going more than nine months without game action following a season-ending Achilles tendon injury and joining a new team with the San Francisco 49ers, Sherman is eager to get back on the field.He said Wednesday he plans to play in San Francisco’s exhibition game at Indianapolis on Saturday in his first action for the 49ers at cornerback after spending his first seven seasons playing for NFC West rival Seattle.“It’s important just for a defensive continuity standpoint, just knowing where people are going to be on game day,” he said. “You don’t want the first time you deal with communicating with somebody else be with live bullets out there. You want to be out there and get the communication down if someone isn’t listening or looking and get those tweaks out of the way.”Sherman had hoped to play earlier this preseason as he worked his way back from the Achilles tendon injury, but he strained his hamstring early in training camp.Sherman felt ready to play last week, but coach Kyle Shanahan held him out to be cautious. Sherman took time after joint practices last week in Houston to get extra work against Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins and has no worries about his health now.“I’m not really concerned with how that will respond,” he said. “I’m more concerned about my game shape and making sure I can still go every single play because I haven’t played (since November).”Sherman has faced questions about what kind of player he can be at age 30 coming off a significant injury that led to his release by the Seahawks. Those only grew louder during the opening week of training camp when video came out of Sherman getting badly beaten deep by sprinter Marquise Goodwin. Coach Kyle Shanahan used that video as a teaching tool, praising Sherman to the rest of the team for his aggressiveness and willingness to test out his injured leg against one of the faster receivers in the league during practice.Sherman said wasn’t bothered by outside criticism and appreciated Shanahan’s support, comparing practice to writing a “rough draft” and saying his product will be polished by the time games start next month.“You’re allowed to make mistakes in practice,” he said. “You’re allowed to get beat and stumble, because then you figure out what works and what doesn’t work. If you find something that works you keep using it and put it into your bag for game day.”Sherman also criticized the NFL’s new rule that prohibits players from lowering the helmet to make contact anywhere on an opponent. The 49ers have been called for three personal fouls through two preseason games for violating the rule.“It’s an idiotic rule so there’s no need to go down that road,” Sherman said when asked if he understood the rule. “There’s no way you can tackle and play football. I could tackle like that if I was standing still, got on my knees, no one was moving and I was tackling bags or something. But to ask you to do that at full speed?”NOTES: The 49ers signed DT Chris Jones to a one-year deal. Jones started the final six games of 2016 for San Francisco before spending last year on IR. … Jones takes the place on the roster of DL Cedric Thornton, who announced his retirement at age 30.