To think the San Francisco 49ers (3-2) will not struggle against the St. Louis Rams (1-3) secondary is ridiculous. They currently rank No. 1 in pass coverage all while playing with a non-existent pass-rush. A secondary filled with a fountain of youth as they have third-year CB Janoris Jenkins and rookie sixth-round pick (No. 188) CB E.J. Gaines on the outside, the 49ers wide-receivers will definitely have their hands full on Sunday. And while they will likely be bottled up, one player that may provide a boost is 11-year veteran WR Brandon Lloyd.
Lloyd, who will face his former team in back-to-back weeks as the 49ers play both the Rams and Denver Broncos, will be looking for some sweet redemption on Monday Night. A player that made one of the most spectacular catches of the short 2014 season when he hauled in a pass over Chiefs CB Sean Smith, will now be looking for his first touchdown, and this weekend is where I believe it will happen.
Lloyd, who came to life last week, as he recorded three catches for 76 yards, will look to continue that success this week as he goes up against a very young secondary. A savvy route-runner with the leaping ability to match, Lloyd should have some opportunities for big plays as QB Colin Kaepernick will likely be blitzed at some point during the game. And that’s where his touchdown will come into play.
When Kaepernick gets blitzed he has the knack for extending plays with his legs, which in turn allows his receivers more time to get open. A broken play much like RB Frank Gore’s 55-yard touchdown reception two weeks ago, I fully expect Lloyd to be the beneficiary this time around. He understands zone coverage and Lloyd should be able to find the soft spots all while getting proper separation from the Rams defensive backs. Not to mention, Lloyd has been targeted 10 times in the last two games, it’s no wonder he is peaking, as Kaepernick continues to build a strong rapport with him.
A true deep-field threat who can stretch the field, look for Lloyd to make some plays between the 20’s all while scoring a touchdown, as he still has plenty of gas left in the tank.