San Francisco 49ers

Hoyer’s passing average ranks among NFL’s worst. Why that could change soon

49ers vs. Rams: Three players to watch in Week 3

San Francisco 49ers insider Matt Barrows tells you who to watch in this Thursday NFL matchup with the Los Angeles Rams. There's fullback Kyle Jusczyk fullback, who is still looking to get involved creatively, Aaron Lynch, the defensive end who war
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San Francisco 49ers insider Matt Barrows tells you who to watch in this Thursday NFL matchup with the Los Angeles Rams. There's fullback Kyle Jusczyk fullback, who is still looking to get involved creatively, Aaron Lynch, the defensive end who war

The 49ers host the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday at 5:35 p.m. Here are the vitals and key storylines to follow:

Line: Rams by 2

Records: 49ers 0-2, Rams 1-1

TV/radio: NFL Network (Mike Tirico, Cris Collinsworth, Heather Cox), 680, 1320

Three things to watch

DEEP THOUGHTS

San Francisco quarterback Brian Hoyer’s 4.71 yards per pass attempt ranks 32nd in the NFL through two weeks. That average wasn’t helped by receiver Marquise Goodwin’s drop on a long pass in Week 1 or a Seattle defense that, in Week 2, kept a safety deep to prevent any big gains. The Rams play more man-to-man defense, which ought to offer more opportunities for speedy Goodwin and Aldrick Robinson, and for Hoyer to boost his average.

BLACK-AND-BLUE DIVISION

The NFL schedule makers didn’t do the 49ers any favors by having them play Thursday after their game against the Seahawks. The always-brutal matchup left San Francisco smarting, especially at strong safety where one player, Eric Reid, is out of action with a knee injury and another, Jaquiski Tartt, is dealing with a sore neck. More concerning: The 49ers defense played 82 snaps in Seattle, about 20 more than an average game.

RUNNING JOKE

The Rams allowed an average of 152 rushing yards in their first two games, 29th in the NFL. That must be tempting for a 49ers offense that ran well against two exceptional defenses so far this season. Carlos Hyde has 169 yards through two games, fourth in the NFL. He and the 49ers’ offense still are looking for their first touchdown.

Injury report

49ERS

Out: LB Reuben Foster (ankle)

Questionable: LB Eli Harold (foot), TE George Kittle (hip), S Jaquiski Tartt (neck), DB Jimmie Ward (hamstring)

RAMS

Questionable: RB Malcolm Brown (hamstring), TE Gerald Everett (thigh), CB Kayvon Webster (shoulder)

Schedule

Date

Opponent

Outcome

Sept. 10

vs. Carolina

L, 23-3

Sept. 17

at Seattle

L, 12-9

Date

Opponent

Time

Sept. 21

vs. L.A. Rams

5:25 p.m.

Oct. 1

at Arizona

1:05 p.m.

Oct. 8

at Indianapolis

10 a.m.

Oct. 15

at Washington

10 a.m.

Oct. 22

vs. Dallas

1:05 p.m.

Oct. 29

at Philadelphia

10 a.m.

Nov. 5

vs. Arizona

1:05 p.m.

Nov. 12

vs. N.Y. Giants

1:25 p.m.

Nov. 26

vs. Seattle

1:05 p.m.

Dec. 3

at Chicago

10 a.m.

Dec. 10

at Houston

10 a.m.

Dec. 17

vs. Tennessee

1:25 p.m.

Dec. 24

vs. Jacksonville

1:05 p.m.

Dec. 31

at L.A. Rams

1:25 p.m.

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