Sunday, October 4, 2009

Week 4 – Rams @ 49ers Matchup

Sunday the 0-3 St. Louis Rams will take on the first place 2-1 San Francisco 49er at 3:15PM CST. The media and experts have these two teams miles apart. Further evidence of this is the 10 point spread in Vegas. This is a 49ers team that is lucky to score 20 points in a game and they are a 10 point favorite. So pencil the Rams in for another 10 point outburst today.

So how did we get here? We know the Rams, 13 straight losses, 5 wins in their last 35 games, awful drafting, etc. However you don't have to look far to find what could have been our twin. The 49ers were 12-20 during the 2007, 2008 NFL season. They had a lack of talent and depth, and a coach in Mike Nolan who could not get the team going, not unlike Scott Linehan in St. Louis. So the 49ers hired Mike Singletary during the 2008 season and they have a 7-5 record with him under the helm. same team different attitude. In addition the 49ers have drafted much better than the Rams. Top draft picks are an obvious issue for the Rams. Their last 4 number 1's are Tye Hill (GONE), Adam Carriker (IR), Chris Long (2nd teamer now?), and Jason Smith (Injured). The Rams have received absolutely NO impact from these players. With Chris Long now seeing spot duty, and Jason Smith playing right tackle you could say we wasted all four selections. The 49ers on the other hand drafted Michael Crabtree, Kentwan Balmer, Patrick Willis. Joe Staley, Vernon Davis, & Manny Lawson in the first round over the past four years. These players are 5 of their 22 starters and they would be 6 for 6 if Michael Crabtree had decided to sign his contract.

So what do we see happening on Sunday? Well these teams are still very similar on the offensive side of the ball, so similar that each team is averaging 276 yards per game. Neither teams scares anyone with their passing game. Both teams try to play it close to the best with the power running game of Frank Gore and Steven Jackson. The major difference is the 49ers defense has helped their team score. The 49ers are 10th in scoring even though they are 28th in yardage. The 49ers will be without Frank Gore today, and are coming off a game that they were 0-11 on third down conversions. The Rams have the worst receiving group I have ever seen take the field in the NFL. The 49ers are not far behind. Isaac Bruce is the 49ers receiver with 100 yards receiving through 3 games.

Defense, here is the difference in this game. The 49ers are aggressive and smash mouth since Mike Singletary took over. Patrick Willis is a poor man's Ray Lewis. The 49ers play a 3-4 and have an outstanding group of linebackers in Parys Haralson, Manny Lawson, Takeo Spikes & Patrick Willis. These linebackers come down hill and will be after Steven Jackson all day. They 49ers will stack the box and they will not let Steven Jackson beat them. With one of the best cornerbacks in the game in Nate Clements along with Dre' Bly, Shawntae Spencer, and Mike Lewis. They are probably laughing during breakfast right now thinking of the Rams receivers.

With Frank Gore out and rookie Glenn Coffee averaging 1.8 yards per carry in, this should be another game that the Rams should stay in. This game should be similar to the Rams/Redskins battle. The difference has to be the defense. The Rams have a hard time pressuring the QB, and if they can not provide the Rams offense with good field position points will be hard to come by. I think the 49ers will look like 11 swarming bees today and really hand it to the Rams. Kyle Boller is going to be running for his life today.

Prediction 49ers over the Rams 23-10

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