St. Louis Rams Vs. San Francisco 49ers: 5 Bold Predictions


Oct 26, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Missouri governor Jay Nixon talks with St. Louis Rams cornerback E.J. Gaines (33) after the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 34-7. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, the St. Louis Rams were embarrassed on their first stop of their treacherous post-Bye schedule. This week, they will face off against the San Francisco 49ers, only a handful of weeks after Jim Harbaugh and Co. handed the Rams their fourth loss of the season. In that contest, Austin Davis and the St. Louis’ defense managed to propel the team to a 14-0 lead to start the game. However, an outrageous offensive pass interference call and an 80+ yard touchdown toss before the half would end up dooming the Rams in the end.

Jeff Fisher has traditionally played the 49ers tough, including a 1-0-1 record against San Francisco in the lone season Sam Bradford has played in the new coaching era. Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco offensive line have struggled, at times, against the Rams athletic defensive front, and the defensive backs have, on occasion, held their own against one of the better receiving corps in the league. So, without further build up, here are our bold predications that will set the Rams up for victory today.

Tre Mason will outgain Frank Gore

Last time around, the St. Louis Rams held Gore to a mere 38 yards on 16 carries; a regular occurrence since Aaron Donald has been in the starting lineup. Meanwhile, Mason managed 40 yards on a meager five carries, setting him up to take the majority of the snaps in the Rams win over the Seahawks in the following week. Even with a depleted offensive line, expect Mason to do just fine off the backend of Greg Robinson and Joe Barksdale on the outside.

Mark Barron will play, and will have make an impactful play (i.e. interception, sack, or forced fumble)

There is still no official word on whether or not Mark Barron will play on Sunday, but considering he saw snaps in practice and that the Rams are paper thin in the secondary (with Janoris Jenkins and Rodney McLeod doubtful), there is a decent chance for it to happen. If so, many expect Barron to play the “nickel” role, possibly pushing Lamarcus Joyner back into the free safety spot, and allowing Barron to fill-in on the second level. Gregg Williams has been waiting for a “chess piece” like Barron, and could see the 49ers lack of tape on his new safety as an opportunity to exploit them on offense. If he plays, expect him get plenty of opportunities to make his mark within the NFC West.

Robert Quinn will continue his sack streak

After starting off the season with a five-game sack drought, the Rams top pass rusher has turned up the heat in the last couple of weeks, recording three sacks in two games. While Quinn has traditionally struggled to get pressure against Joe Staley, Colin Kaepernick’s propensity to extend plays and move outside of the pocket often puts his offensive tackles in vulnerable positions. Having “tasted blood” against Alex Smith and Russell Wilson, expect Quinn’s motor to be running on overdrive all game, which should lead to at least one “Bernie” this evening.

Stedman Bailey will lead all Rams receivers in receptions and yards

Austin Pettis out. Brian Quick out. Time for the other Mountaineers to step into the spotlight against a surprisingly efficient 49ers secondary. With Perrish Cox, an arguable Pro Bowl candidate at cornerback, likely to be focused on Kenny Britt for most of the game, Bailey should see his fair share of one-on-one matchups on the outside. His route running and explosiveness after the catch should lead to plenty of opportunities for him to accumulate yards and remind people why he was once a candidate for the top receiver in college football.

Greg Zuerlein will make a 50+ yard field goal

Over the last couple of weeks, many have been down on Greg “the Leg” after a handful of not-so-impressive misses. However, Zuerlein has always been impressive against the San Francisco 49ers, including multiple long-rangers the last time the Rams upset their San Francisco foes. Legatron is still one of the top young kickers in the game, but is obviously lacking some confidence right now. Look for him to get back on track versus the 49ers.