Is a big Rams’ victory on Sunday. First of all, I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. I hope Santa found everyone well, and I hope everyone had a great holiday. Now, on to business. The Rams will meet the 49ers at noon on Sunday in what has pretty much turned into a must-win if this team wants to see the postseason. Before I get to my keys to the game, let’s take a look at who will be suiting up for San Fran (and who won’t be). Troy Smith will start under center for the Niners instead of Alex Smith. Troy beat us and played pretty well in the first matchup with the Rams, but I still find it interesting that Mike Singletary is going with him. T Joe Staley and TE Nate Byham are out, and RB Anthony Dixon is questionable I think Staley is the obvious impact injury here, and hopefully the defense will take advantage. Now for the keys.
Better The Second Time Around – We all know that the Rams lost the last time these teams played, but I really felt the Niners were better than the Rams that day more than the score would indicate. San Fran killed themselves with penalties, but we can’t rely on that this week. We have to be better, or we will leave disappointed.
Ground Attack – The biggest difference between this game and the previous one might be the absence of Frank Gore. Gore hurt the Rams running and catching last time, but now the responsibility falls to the shoulders of Dixon and Brian Westbrook (if Dixon plays). The Niners have some major talent with their pass-catchers, so we have to bottle up their running game to prevent big plays in the passing game over the top.
Growing Up – The Rams didn’t show up last weekend. It hurts, but it’s the truth. I know this team is not used to playing in big games like this, but they need to get used to it quickly. Another showing like last Sunday won’t be nearly good enough, so some of these young guys need to sack up right now and make big plays when needed.
As far as my prediction goes, I’ve decided I’m not making one this week. I am highly superstitious, and I don’t want to bring any bad karma to the Rams. I certainly think we can win, but it will depend on how the team shows up. Let’s hope the team steps us and takes control of this division.
BTW… For those who have been asking, I’m still working on getting the Isaac Bruce audio here on the site, and I hope to have it up early in the week.
Topics: Alex Smith, Anthony Dixon, Brian Westbrook, Christmas, Frank Gore, Isaac Bruce, Joe Staley, Mike Singletary, Nate Byham, Penalties, Prediction, San Francisco 49ers, Santa, St. Louis Rams, Troy Smith