49ers at Rams
Easy pick, right? St. Louis is 1-2, with their only victory being a late comeback against the lowly Cardinals. San Francisco, on the other hand, is one of the top teams in the league, a legitimate Super Bowl contender.
Not so fast. This one’s far from easy.
The Rams have a few advantages that shouldn’t be overlooked. They are playing at home, and in a dome. The 49ers melted two weeks ago in Seattle’s noisy crucible, and don’t think for one sweet second that the folks in St. Louis don’t know this. Anything less than a superior effort at noisy distraction by the Rams’ faithful will be a disgrace. The Rams have some good young talent at receiver and a potential star TE in Jared Cook, which will help them to exploit the coverage weaknesses in San Fran’s secondary, as well as the loss of Aldon Smith’s QB pressure. Also, the Rams have K Greg “The Leg” Zuerlein’s big boot. Sure, they can’t run the ball very well, but against the ‘niners, why should they? Let QB Sam Bradford sling it, I say.
Meanwhile, San Fran is reeling. QB Colin Kaepernick has not played well the past two weeks, showing himself to be the inexperienced QB he is rather than the superstar everyone has made him out to be (too soon) as a physically gifted athlete in a gimmicky offence. Compounding Kaepernick’s woes are a thin WR corps and the fact that his most dangerous weapon, TE Vernon Davis, will either play hurt tonight or not at all. Also, the ‘niners might be without their most valuable defensive player tonight, LB Patrick Willis, who is nursing “a groin in-jur-y” (Thanks to the immortal Sam “Mayday” Malone for that one.).
Most experts are saying that the 49ers will come roaring back with a big win after two consecutive embarrassing losses. I think they feel the pressure of that expectation, and that they’re ripe for the picking. Winner: Rams