Just as Monday night football wrapped up in Denver, all attention shifts to St. Louis for the Thursday showdown between the Rams and 49ers. Both teams are coming off back-to-back losses that make this game even more important for both sides. But while the Rams are trying to turn around a season that everyone expected major improvement on from past years, the 49ers are will head into Thursdays game looking to end the longest losing streak sine Jim Harbaugh too over as coach. And with the game being televised for the nation to see, the stakes will be incredibly higher for both teams to get back to winning ways.
If you plan to bet on the game, check out SportsPicks.com handicappers who are loading up on SF tonight as they expect a blowout.
After winning game one against Green Bay, San Francisco hasn’t looked nearly as impressive in their last two bouts. Two weeks ago they got stomped by a great looking Seattle team and most people chalked it up not to the lack of talent from the 49ers, but the more impressive play of the Seahawks. However after another loss this past weekend against Indianapolis, people are starting to question if this 49ers team has what it takes to make another deep run into the playoffs.
Colin Kaepernick was talked about before the season began as having the potential to be an elite quarterback that changed game plans and required teams to hope they can keep up offensively because they likely wont be able to stop him when he has the ball. However with only 277-yards and no touchdowns, as well as four interceptions in the last two weeks, some fans may begin to start questioning why the 49ers ever let Alex Smith go (especially considering Kansas City’s success at 3-0).
Kaepernick isn’t the only one to blame for the teams lack of success. Frank Gore hasn’t been playing well and Patrick Willis, Nnamdi Asomugha and Vernon Davis have all been hampered by injuries. The bright side is that its better for your team to have these injuries early in the season, rather than later when playoff games are on the line. Nonetheless, the 49ers wont want to fall too much further behind in a NFC West division that includes the undefeated (and currently ranked #1 team in the league) Seahawks and their opponents this week, the Rams.
Speaking of the Rams, many people thought that despite being in a division with the Seahawks and 49ers, this would be there year. Sam Bradford is finally getting used to playing in the NFL and looks healthy, and Jeff Fisher brings a new look to a team that has been riddled with problems in previous years. However after an opening win against Arizona, the Rams fell to the Falcons in a close match in Atlanta, and were pretty much embarrassed in Dallas last week.
The true problem with St. Louis lies in their defense. Last week they let DeMarco Murray run for 175 yards on 26 carries and Fisher stated earlier this week that the 49ers offense would be a “real concern” for the Rams to contain this Thursday.
For the Rams, the good news is that Bradford has gone 2-0 against the 49ers at home during his career. He’s also had a passing percentage of 71%, 4-touchdowns and no interceptions in the four total games played. Bradford will need these trends to continue if he hopes to get his Rams back on the winning side of things. Even better for the Rams, a win on Thursday would put them ahead of the 49ers in one of the toughest divisions in football, an advantage that could be very valuable when January rolls around.
Despite their records, Thursday’s game should be one of the most entertaining games of the weekend. Both teams have a lot to play for and a lot to prove in primetime television. And a loss would only further concern fans and make it difficult for either team to turn around their season, as they would have to play catch-up for the remainder of the year.