So, the 49ers have won 2 of their last three games, and this week, they play a surprising 4-4 St Louis Rams team that is lead by rookie quarterback Sam Bradford. This will be the first of five games against divisional opponents that the 49ers will be playing in the second half of the season. If they don’t win this one, the road to the playoffs will have a bumpy start and it will be an absolute struggle from here on out for the team to make its way to the postseason.
Now, at the start of the season if one had told me that the Rams would be 4-4 at the halfway mark, lead by a rookie quarterback, I would have puked in my throat. Thankfully, I came across no one who thought that this would be the case. The Rams have been a nice surprise this NFL season and it is good to see them win, but not at the expense of the Niners. At this point last year, the Rams were 1-7 on their way to a 1-15 season. Things have changed in St. Louis and right now, they are tied for first-place with the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West. They put up a fight, doing just enough to stay in games and they will make you pay if you slip up.
Much like the Niners, the Rams are actually in the bottom half of the league in every major offensive category, but their defense has been reliable and has bailed them out a few times this season. Regardless of the teams’ records, it would be downright embarrassing for the Niners not to pull out a W in this one.
Why the 49ers will win:
1. Troy Smith will make things happen. Smith, starting his second game in a row has shown that he has the ability to make things happen. While in the game against Denver, it took him three quarters to find his groove, he showed that he does have what it takes to lead a team. The Niners are facing the 15th ranked passing defense in the league and look for them to take advantage of the Rams’ secondary.
2. The defense will have a monster game. Patrick Willis and the defense will not allow rookie QB Sam Bradford to have success against this Niners defense. The Rams provide a perfect opportunity for the Niners defense to step up and show that they are a top-10 defense in this league.
Why the Rams will win:
1. Sam Bradford is the real deal. Bradford has done more than what the Rams could have asked for this season. In his 8 games this year, he has thrown for 1674 yards, 11 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. The Niners QBs have thrown for 1817 yards, 10 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. The Rams have rallied behind Bradford and play their hearts out for him.
2. The Niners find a way to lose. Four of the Niners’ six losses this season have been by a combined 11 points. This team could easily be 6-2 right now and be who they thought they would be. Right now, we are staring at a 2-6 record as the Niners have found plenty of ways to lose this season.
My Prediction: Niners win 20-14. In a game that was too close for comfort, the Niners edge the Rams. Troy Smith rallies the Niners in the fourth quarter and leads them to a comeback win.