4 distinct advantages 49ers have over NFC West rival Rams

The 49ers will look for some retribution against the Rams in 2022 after last season’s NFC Championship game, and these advantages may be of interest.

For the last 10 years, San Francisco 49ers fans understandably looked at the Seattle Seahawks as their chief rival. And while it might be fun to watch the Hawks’ demise entering 2022, there’s a new rivalry that’ll likely be atop Niners fans’ interest list.

The fellow NFC West one against the Los Angeles Rams.

San Francisco should have that bitter taste in its mouth after what happened in last season’s NFC Championship game, boasting a late lead only to lose it and then watch LA go on and win the Super Bowl over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Good time for retribution, right?

With Los Angeles being the top dogs not only within the division but the entire NFL heading into 2022, head coach Kyle Shanahan and Co. will have to look to exploit some notable advantages they have over their rivals from Southern California.

While there are plenty of gray-area comparisons, the 49ers do have these four recognizable advantages over the Rams heading into this upcoming season.

Let’s break those down.

 

49ers advantage No. 1: Rams have the tougher NFL schedule

The first advantage is one the Niners essentially had nothing to do with, aside from finishing third in the NFC West last season.

Early looks at any team’s upcoming schedule can never take into account all the trials and tribulations that can play out over the course of a season, and all it takes is for a few teams to flop or suffer a rash of terrible injuries to completely buck whatever predictions the experts have.

That said, it’s a fact LA is slated to have a more challenging schedule than San Francisco, at least based on projected win totals and as broken down by Sharp Football Analysis:

Los Angeles, at least according to this, has the second-toughest strength of schedule behind only the Kansas City Chiefs, whereas the 49ers are much more in the middle of the pack, 20th, according to this breakdown.

True, both the Niners and Rams have to play the vaunted AFC West this season, as the NFC West is scheduled to battle it out against its opposite-conference counterpart.

But at least San Francisco can anticipate a little more help from many of Los Angeles’ opponents this season, and that could play a massive role in determining the NFC West’s outcome in 2022.

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