Saturday, December 31, 2011

Rams vs. 49ers Game Preview

Steve Spagnuolo is ultra conservative but I still do not expect him to run onto the field Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers waving a white flag, however one way or another the St. Louis Rams 2011 season will come to a merciful ending. The San Francisco 49ers pounded out a 26-0 win against the Rams just four weeks ago and will look to put another beat down on the Rams. A victory over the Rams would give San Francisco a first-round bye in the NFC Playoffs.

The 49ers absolutely dominated the first matchup only allowing the Rams to gain 157 total yards and ten first downs. The 49ers defense was smothering. The Rams went into the game with AJ Feeley at quarterback. The 49ers held Feeley to a 58.1 QB rating while sacking him four times and intercepting him once. On the ground Steven Jackson was held to 19 yards on 10 carries while Josh McDaniels was criticized for his approach in this game. The 49ers were able to hold the ball for 36:04 of the game.

While many talk about the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints and for good reason, the 49ers should also be in the discussion. Common sense says the 49ers can't score with the big boys but they do average 23 points per game, and would they have to score that much with their top ranked defense? Alex Smith known for managing the game as they say is 10th in QB rating and at times looks similar to a former Super Bowl Champion Trent Dilfer. Dilfer managed a 34-7 victory in Super Bowl XXXV over the New York Giants.

The Rams will once again go with Kellen Clemens at QB and face another tough matchup. The Rams have been shutout twice in their last four games, scoring a total of only 26 points in those contest. The Rams now face the #1 scoring and rushing defense in the NFL in the 49ers. The 49ers want that bye week and they will come to town on a mission to get just that.

The Rams show no signs of ever changing their game plan under head coach Steve Spagnuolo. Weather Pat Shurmer or Josh McDaniels is calling the plays they smell of Spagnuolo's conservative approach. The Rams will try to run the ball with Steven Jackson, throw short passes and punt a lot. The Rams are so bad on offense that they are -207 in point differential and trail the Chiefs by 39 points for 31st in scoring. In the year of high scoring offense the Rams are setting records for futility.

The Rams have at least never folded during a game and they now only have one left so I look for them to at least show up again but there is no way they should win this game. This game means a lot to the 49ers. The 49ers are already in the playoffs and may overlook the Rams but not with Jim Harbaugh as the coach. I look for the 49ers to come out early grab a lead and add to it as the game goes along. Rams fans should spend most of the game looking at the scoreboard hoping for an Indianapolis Colts victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Prediction San Francisco 49ers 23 - St. Louis Rams 7

By Stlvinnie -

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