This Sunday the Rams face the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park. On paper and based on the season records of each team, this game looks like a blowout for the 49ers. But with careful analysis of each team performances, along with their strengths and weaknesses, this game has the potential to be close.
The entire league knows that the 49ers want to pound the ball with Frank Gore and shut you out on defense, which allows Alex Smith to manage the game. What the Rams need to do is load the box and stop Frank Gore and the rest of the 49ers running backs. The defense of the Rams has shown earlier in the season that they are capable of stopping the run and putting pressure on the quarterback. Putting the 49ers in long down situation will force Alex Smith to throw the ball. Outside of his performance last week, Alex Smith has not proven himself to be a gun slinging, put the ball in my hand and let me throw quarterback. I believe that corner backs Cortland Finnegan and Janoris Jenkins have the ability to give the 49ers receivers trouble and intercept a few balls. The defensive line when given the opportunity on passing downs, must pin their ears back and go get Smith and force him into making bad decisions with the ball.
Now, offensively the Rams have to figure out how to manage the game. The Rams offense is not going to over power or outrun the 49ers defense. They must run the ball as much as possible even if they are not gaining a sufficient amount of yardage per attempt. When Sam Bradford is called upon to throw the ball he has to take what the defense gives him. Its going to be a long game for the Rams offense. But with a strong defensive effort, the Rams have a chance at winning and upsetting the 49ers in Candlestick on Sunday.
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Written by James Scoggins Jr.