Good morning and happy gameday. It's been a while, hasn't it. The bye week bores me. We're healthy coming out of it and the coaches have had a full week to prepare (our opponent, the Rams did as well) and, with the Rams offense mired in a season-long slump, this should be an easy victory for the 49ers. This is another game like the Cardinals game, in that if we lose it is a major disappointment. Maybe on the return leg, if the Rams have gelled more as a team and we're playing at their stadium, an upset could be in the offering. But, given their recent play (45-7 loss to the Patriots in London in Week 8), this looks like about as close to a gimme game as the 49ers will get this season. I mean, if you're playing a first-place schedule and have ideas about winning the division again, the last place team in your division is pretty much a must win...or a can't lose.
As for the links...there's really not much to be found. So, as usual, I'm going to ask each and every one of you to do your civic duty and post any good material that might pop up after midnight in the comments. That would be appreciated. DIY Nuggets!
First up is my article on the Rams and 49ers game. It looks at how the 49ers' middle of the pack offense will fair against a middle of the pack defense. Both units are trending in the opposite direction based on play in week 8. With the 49ers' D holding the Rams to 10 points or less, the 49ers' O needs to be efficient, not great. | Can the St. Louis defense slow down the 49ers? (Malone)
Guess which team has the most players on their roster with a Pro Bowler on their resume? 49ers! That's what Mike Sando has revealed. Can you name them? There's 13 of them. Good luck. He also singles out four 49ers that could be potential first timers, as well...who do you think those are? 1.5k points to whoever gets it right. | Where they rank in Pro Bowlers: 49ers first. (Sando)
Another worthy read from Sando shows how difficult it would be for the 49ers to be caught by the Seahawks for the NFC West division title. He goes over the scenario that has the Seahawks getting to 10-6 (a possibility) as well as the one that sees the 49ers slink in at 10-6 (pretty hard to imagine). | Catching the 49ers. (Sando)
Anthony Davis will have the task of keeping Chris Long away from Alex Smith. Long started the season off strongly, but has played poorly in his last two. The Rams d-line getting pressure on Smith without needing to bring blitzers would go a long way toward making the Rams task easier. | Key matchup No. 2: Anthony Davis vs Chris Long. (Maiocco)
Before I even saw what the headlines for the day were, I wrote my intro above. Now it turns out that Jim Harbaugh, with the help of Cam Inman, have stolen my thunder. Turns out everyone knows that division games are important and I'm not as smart as I thought. | Jim Harbaugh knows that games against NFC West opponents are vitally important. (Inman)
Interceptions are down, but the 49ers pass defense has greatly improved. Remember that game against the Cowboys last season, week 2, and it appeared like we might have had a major liability on our hands? Our pass defense is second in yards allowed and 1st in points allowed. And we haven't even generated a consistent pass rush. Go secondary, go! | 49ers' secondary has stepped up its game. (Mercury News)
49ers defense hungry for shutouts. (Yahoo!)
Sapolu opens heart on surgery. (SF Gate)
49ers run game an innovative relic. (Branch)
That's it people. Until next time.
Being a Sheep
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