Bill Plaschke predicted a Dodgers win over the Giants during the MLB postseason last year. He thinks we’re going to see a repeat in the NFC Championship Game.
“It’s not going to be close, there’s no way,” the longtime Los Angeles Times columnist said on KNBR. “The Rams win by double-digits. There’s no way they beat them.”
So why is Plaschke so confident in a team who has lost the last six games against the 49ers to win? His first argument doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
“For one thing, what are the odds of a team winning three-straight games against another team in one season, that just doesn’t happen, [Sean] McVay’s going to figure it out.”
Actually Bill, it happens all the time. Twenty-three times two division rivals have met in the postseason after one swept the other in the regular season. Fourteen times the team that won the regular season series also won the playoff game.
When confronted with this statistic from KNBR’s Brian Murphy, Plaschke conceded. Onto the next point.
“Number two, the Rams have Stafford,” Plaschke continued. “I’ll take Stafford over Jimmy G in a heartbeat. Everybody in San Francisco loves Jimmy G, he’s going to give the game away. You have Deebo Samuel — he’s incredible — but the Rams defense is playing at such a high level with Donald, Von Miller, Jalen Ramsey and Leonard Floyd, they are so packed at every position, they are playing at the highest level.
“You saw the throw Stafford made to Cooper Kupp vs. Tampa Bay, Stafford can make those throws any time. He’s already proven himself as a playoff winner now, he’s got that monkey off his back. They play as well — and I realize Cam Akers tried to give the game away — but the Rams played as well as I’ve seen them play for three and a half quarters in Tampa.
“I just don’t see them losing, there’s too much at stake here. And the 49ers are beat up. They had two great games, they’re beat up, they’re not as deep as the Rams, they’re not as talented as the Rams. There’s no way!”
Stafford might be the better quarterback, but he was just okay vs. the 49ers last time out. He threw three touchdowns but also two interceptions, and was sacked five times. Stafford’s yards-per-pass was 5.4, not exactly lighting the world on fire. For comparison, Jimmy Garoppolo averaged 8.7 yards-per-pass.
Finally, the 49ers are expected to be fairly healthy on Sunday, and should have the exact same team on the field that they did three weeks ago.
By the way, the Rams are currently favored to win by 3.5 points.
Listen to the full interview below. You can listen to every KNBR interview on our podcast page at knbr.com/podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Catch Murph & Mac weekdays from 6 – 10 a.m. on KNBR 104.5 / 680 and streaming live on KNBR.com.