Found September 25, 2013 on Football and Futbol:
In a crucial divisional game on Thursday night, the ravenous St. Louis Rams team will face their alter ego, the San Francisco 49ers. This matchup is like Superman vs. Bizarro. Both teams are run first, fundamentally sound, and pride themselves on defense. To further illustrate the mirror, both teams are coming off brutal losses. Both teams have lost at home. Both teams are 1 and 2. Something has to give.   Jeff Fisher expects for the 49ers to feed Frank Gore the ball after him receiving only 11 touches last week. To counter the 49ers run game, Brian Schottenheimer issued a similar statement, proclaiming that the Rams must get ahead of the sticks early. Meaning short, but effective plays on first and second down, leaving manageable third down to keep the pressure of Sam Bradford. After watching DeMarcus Ware line up all over the field last week and effectively reeking havoc on the Rams Offensive Line, expect the 49ers to take notice and use Justin Smith in a similar fashion. With the loss of Aldon Smith to a DUI charge and the possible loss of Patrick Willis to a groin injury, Smith will be the key defensive player on the front line for San Francisco.   When asked about the rivalry, Fisher remarked that there really is no rivalry yet because in order for there to be a rivalry, you have to win games. He was selling his team a little short, by referencing the total history between the teams, but if you look at last year, Jeff Fisher’s Rams were one of the only teams to have success against the 49ers, winning at home and, in one of the wildest games in recent memory, working a tie on the road.   This young Rams team has confidence from those positive experiences last year, but they realize that that was last year. Bradford expressed his confidence from those experiences, but he could use some help. The Rams offensive line gave up six sacks last week to the Dallas Cowboys, when in the previous two games they had not allowed one. Critical drops on third downs also hurt the offense last week, and kept the defense trotting out onto the field on short rest.   In his press conference, it was obvious that Fisher was all business. There were no jokes, and he seemed anxious to get away from the microphones and back to coaching. The defensive minded Fisher commented on how his players were out of position and every coach on the team in their interviews harped on working on fundamentals. It is obvious that there was a lack of focus and that it would be addressed during the short week. Fisher made mention of 21, Janoris Jenkins, and 52, Alec Olgletree, who he obviously would be using as examples of proper fundamentals in his film sessions this week.   A player who has been quiet for the last two games is Jared Cook. The speedy tight end, who had a monster first game, has only caught 6 balls for 54 yards since. He wonders why he hasn’t been getting the ball, with good reason.   Defensive End, Robert Quinn will also need to step up his game, but will he be able to track down the nimble Colin Kaepernick. Ball protection and stopping the run game will be the focus of both teams, according to all accounts from the players and coaches. The Rams gave up almost 200 yards to Cowboys in the 7-31 loss last week, and the 49ers gave up 179 yards rushing to the Indianapolis Colts. All arrows point in the direction of a trench war with lots of running the ball and hard nose defense. So you should probably bet the over in what will obviously be an aerial shootout.
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