Editor's note: This is the second part in a series that spotlights three 49ers-Rams matchups to watch Thursday, 5:25 p.m., at Edward Jones Dome.
Matchup No. 3: Carlos Rogers vs. Tavon Austin
49ers RT Anthony Davis vs. Rams DE Chris Long
Tale of the tape
Davis (76): 6 foot 5, 323 pounds, fourth season, Rutgers
Long (91): 6 foot 3, 268 pounds, sixth season, Virginia
The 49ers made an offseason commitment to right tackle Anthony Davis, signing him to a contract extension of more than $37 million through 2019.
In games such as this, the 49ers rely on Davis to earn his money.
Davis had his breakout season last year. His teammates voted him as the winner of the Bobb McKittrick Award for his courage, dedication and sacrifice. And his improvement can be measured by how he fared against St. Louis Rams defensive end Chris Long.
In two overtime games against the St. Louis Rams, he allowed Chris Long one sack. In their previous four head-to-head meetings, Long recorded four sacks.
Neither Davis nor Long is off to a great start this season.
The 49ers’ offense struggled in back-to-back losses against Seattle and Indianapolis. Davis gave up a sack and committed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty as the 49ers lost their composure in the fourth quarter against the Seahawks.
[REWIND: Davis levied with $7,785 fine]
Long, who recorded 24.5 sacks over the past two seasons, has been shut out through the first three games. But he should benefit from the advantage of playing at home in a loud environment.
The 49ers will want to return to a physical brand of football behind running back Frank Gore. And Davis’ ability to handle Long figures to be a vital component of the 49ers' power run game.
The 49ers ran the ball successfully on Sunday against the Colts before inexplicably abandoning the run game. Meanwhile, Long had just one tackle as Dallas’ DeMarco Murray rushed for 175 yards and a touchdown in the Rams’ 31-7 loss.