5 Keys To Victory – Revisited: San Francisco 49ers At St. Louis Rams


Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Rams got out to a sursprising 14-0 lead over the heavily favored San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football. Unfortunately, the story of their season reared its ugly head once again. The young Rams have a nasty habit of playing only one half of good football. They would go on to lose 31-17 at home. Here are Ramblin’ Fan’s 5 Keys to Victory-Revisited:

1.) Smother TE Vernon Davis

Davis made almost no impact on this game. Between his penalties and drops, he was effectively taken out of the offensive attack of the 49ers. He finished with three catches for 30 yards on six targets. He may be rusty after missing time with his back injury.

2.) Make the 49ers one-dimensional

As a team, San Francisco rushed 30 times for 89 yards (3.0 yd avg.) and zero touchdowns. RB Frank Gore’s longest run was for nine yards. They average 135.7 yards per game but were held well under that total by the Rams defense. Their longest run was a 23 yard scamper by QB Colin Kaepernick up the left sideline.

3.) Limit penalties

The Rams finished with eight penalties for 38 yards. This was the least yardage they’ve surrendered in a game via penalty so far this season. The most costly one, however, was a controversial offensive pass interference call on TE Jared Cook that erased a big first down gain. On their next possession Kaepernick threw an 80 yard bomb over the top of the defense for a touchdown.

4.) Play physical

The Rams came out of the game by hitting the 49ers in the mouth. They started the game with two straight touchdowns and looked poised and confident. In the second half, San Francisco ramped up their pass rush and didn’t allow QB Austin Davis to do much of anything through the air.

5.) Exploit the 49ers secondary

Davis finished the night by completing 21 of 42 passes for 236 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He had made some nice throws down the field but he also missed on a few to WR’s Brian Quick, Stedman Bailey and Kenny Britt. He then threw a pick-six in the fourth quarter which was the nail in the coffin for the Monday Night loss.

Check back with us next week before the Rams take on the Seattle Seahawks.