December 1, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh (left) shakes hands with St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher (right) after the game at Candlestick Park. The 49ers defeated the Rams 23-13. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Keys To Victory: San Francisco Revisited

Before yesterday’s game, I posted what the Rams needed to do to do the impossible and defeat the 49ers. Here we will revisit them and see how the Rams fared in each area.

Run The Football

When Sam Bradford went down the season seemed lost. That was until the emergence of Zac Stacy. Stacy has added a spark to this offense and has been a reason the Rams have played well without Bradford.

Stacy will need to find success against a tough 49ers defense once again in order for the Rams to win. The last two times the Rams have defeated the 49ers they  had 130+ yards on the ground.

In the past ten years that has happened only four times and the Rams are 3-0-1 in those meetings. The Rams’ all-time record when rushing for greater than 130 yards against the 49ers is 22-6-1. When the Rams rush for less they are 18-41. Finding success on the ground will play a major part in whether or not the Rams come home with a victory.

 

The Rams struggled t run the ball early as Zac Stacy only had 25 yards rushing in the first half. Stacy finally got going later in the game rushing for 72 yards, but by then it was too late.

The 49ers made it a point to stop the run and make Kellen Clemens and the Rams wide receivers beat them, and they did just that. The 49ers stopped the run early forcing the Rams to throw, unfortunately the Rams receivers didn’t help Clemens’ case as they  dropped numerous passes.

 

Stop Frank Gore

Among quarterbacks that have at least one start this season 49ers quarterback has the 20th fewest pass attempts this season, and the least among quarterbacks who have started every game.

The Rams will need to make Kaepernick beat them through the air. Kaepernick seems to be late on some of his throws this season which has caused him to be inaccurate at times and make mistakes.

Therefore in order for the Rams to win they will need to shut down the run which all starts with Frank Gore. If they can do that they may force a mistake or two from Kaepernick. The Rams run defense has been off and on lately. This Sunday, they will need to be on.

 

If it’s one thing the Rams did do well it was stopping the run. The Rams held Gore to only 43 yards, but Kaepernick proved that his passing skills have improved taking advantage of the Rams’ weak secondary throwing for 275 yards.

 

Protect Kellen Clemens

This should be a weekly thing, but it is an important one, especially against the 49ers who’s front seven is considered one of the best in the league, especially with the return of Aldon Smith.

When the 49ers start to unsettle the opposing quarterback and force them into mistakes is when they are the most dangerous. The 49ers sacked Bradford five times in the last meeting, that number will need to be much lower if the Rams plan on winning.

Clemens has played extremely well in the place of injured Sam Bradford. This week will be one of his toughest challenges to date and will need help from his offensive line to get by.

 

The 49ers managed to sack Clemens three times and give him problems all day as the 49ers defensive line dominated the Rams offensive line for the majority of the day. Three times is not a lot, but when you are down, and have a limited offense, three times is too much.

 

The Rams went one for three in my keys to victory on Sunday, and because of that the Rams lost. The Rams struggled to find a run game and win the battle up front giving the 49ers the edge. That and the Rams receivers couldn’t catch a cold if they wanted to, and Anquan Boldin had a field day. Those are our keys of victory:revisited for week 13 against the 49ers.

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