The San Francisco 49ers will play their third divisional game this Sunday in a week ten game against the St.Louis Rams. The 49ers, now at 6-2 on the year, are coming off of a bye week, and are looking as strong as they have been all year. With their rededication to the running game, and the passing game clicking at an all time high, there is no reason to think that they will squander this contest. Especially since they are playing in San Francisco at Candlestick Park.
The Rams on the other hand, are reeling from sting of three consecutive losses in a row. The last one by a gut wrenching 38 points to the New England Patriots. But they too are also coming off of a bye in week nine. The Rams, at 3-5 on the season, are in a state of flux right now, or at least they were prior to the bye week. They have lost their number one receiver to injury and their starting running back has had a horrific year. Rams fans can only hope that the bye week did the offense a bit of justice in regrouping.
The Rams powerful starting running back Steven Jackson is working on the worst season of his career, other than his rookie season in 2004. He currently has 108 carries for only 403 yards and one touchdown. He is averaging a mere 3.7 rushing yards per carry and has only broken the 75 yard barrier once this season. To make matters worse, his carries per game are on a downward trend the last three games. And with a stiff San Francisco defense ahead of him for week ten, the sub par year will most likely continue.
It should be said though, that his lack of production is not entirely his fault. The Rams offensive line has battled injuries all year long, making it very difficult to be productive in the run game. Even quarterback Sam Bradford feels the effects of the offensive line woes. He is completing only 61% of his passes, and has only eight touchdowns to his seven interceptions on the season. He is constant threat of being sacked, and is making poor throwing decisions due to being pressured. Even with a productive effort by back up running back Daryl Richardson is not enough to make up for the problems associated with the offensive line.
The only bright side for the offense is that the Rams expect for number one wide receiver Danny Amendola to return to the field against the 49ers. It is not entirely certain that his return will have much of an effect on the game though. The 49ers will no doubt double-team him all night, and really test the strength of his injured area.
It is without question that this game will be another brutal fight for the 49ers. The Rams will absolutely not lie down for the 49ers. They will fight tooth and nail against their division foe. The divisional games in the NFC west are historically competitive. And there is no guarantee that the 49ers will walk away with a victory. That being said, the 49ers should pull off a close and highly contested victory. Prediction: 49ers 24, Rams 21.San Francisco 49erTags: Football, NFL, San Francisco, San Francisco 49ers