Are you ready for Thursday Night Football? I honestly don't care if you're ready...I want to know if the 49ers are ready. 1-3 will be a deep hole to dig out of. The schedule will get easier after a Week 5 visit from Houston, who haven't exactly set the world on fire, anyway. Following that game, we have 6 out of 7 games against opponents who didn't make the playoffs last season. The only team on that list that made the playoffs is Washington, who may even top us for underwhelming play. We'll get the ship righted in that time and will need to get hot in order to make a playoff run. Very doable given our schedule and talent.
But for now...the Rams. I wonder how many small meals Chris Long has eaten since his ridiculous comments about Craig Dahl. 10,000 Niners Nation street cred points to whomever does up a photoshop of Long surrounded by tiny meals. Anyone?
49ers vs Rams
Since the game tonight is the most important news of the day...I felt compelled to lead off with links about the game. But with the short week, even the writers and beat reporters have been pressed for time. There will be a ton of stuff coming out this morning, so please link to it in the comments. Thanks!
Gameday: San Francisco 49ers at St. Louis Rams (49erswebzone)
The injury bug is more like an injury shark so far this season for the 49ers. The questionable list for tonight's game includes Vernon Davis, Nnamdi Asomugha, Kyle Williams, Anthony Davis and Patrick Willis. There are more, but these are the key contributors. Our pass catchers have been less than impressive in the last two weeks, missing either of Vernon or KW (though I'm not exactly blown away by KW's contributions at this point) could serve to magnify the issues that Colin Kaepernick has faced in this spate of poor offense. | 49ers injury report: Vernon Davis and Patrick Willis are questionable (Gin)
Fixing the Forty-Niners
Ruthless proposes that the 49ers' passing problems begin with pressure on the quarterback. Is the line solely at fault? I also think the receivers have not helped. I really think we have a solid (not great) No. 1 in Anquan Boldin and a handful of No. 4s. I can't wait for people to get healthy. | 49ers' passing woes start with protection breakdowns, real and imagined (BASG)
It's been obvious that the defense is getting worn out towards the end of these games. In both of the last two we were within striking distance in the 4th quarter. I think the offense's abandonment of the run game and accompanying lack of long drives is leaving the defense out of gas. We've watched the Seahawks and Colts put us away as we flagged. | Niners' Defense is Getting Run Down (NBC)
Are the 49ers stuck in a San Francisco retreat? (USA Today)
I don't know if you like podcasts. I listen to them often at work. If you want 49ers-centric material, check out Oscar, Richard and David at the 49erswebzone podcast. Good stuff, very knowledgeable and released weekly. A good gem from yesterday's version is that in the last game, Kaepernick was missing his top 4 targets from last season. That's Vernon, Michael Crabtree, Delanie Walker and Mario Manningham. A similar thing has happened to Tom Brady and look at his QBR. Don't panic, yet! | Don't Hit the Panic Button (49erswebzone)
Another weekly podcast is put out by friends of the site Dylan DeSimone and Turron Davenport. They get great guests. From this weeks show, Joel Corry explains the long and short-term financial situation for the team in great detail, discussing the salary implications of Aldon Smith's nonsense as well as possible reasons why Mike Iupati hasn't been extended. Mike Sando also joins them. | Niners Talk Central (PFC)
I won't necessarily plug those every week, but after listening to them today, I thought it was a good idea to give them some love. They're great if you live outside the Bay Area and the 49ers' sphere of influence (like me). We also, of course, have our own podcast here at NN that you'll see on the main page when a new episode is released. Fun!
49ers Speak - Thanks Cohn
Kaepernick says the 49ers "have to win" this week (Cohn - Transcript)
Something I completely forgot about in the wake of Aldon's DUI was that Delanie Walker's aunt and uncle were tragically killed by a drunk driver leaving the Super Bowl last year. If he were still on the team, he could talk to Aldon about the impact. | Anti-DUI crusader Delanie Walker comments on Aldon Smith incident (Barrows)
QB Watch: 49ers' Colin Kaepernick (Williamson)
Audio - Teddy Football: Vernon Davis' Status (49ers.com)