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San Francisco 49ers @ St. Louis Rams: A Prospector's Guide

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Danny will have his statistical review of the Dolphins game up tomorrow.  In the meantime, the 49ers head into St. Louis looking to surpass last season's win total of 5.  Mike Singletary.  The Rams are really struggling, so it will be interesting to see what kind of effort they bring on Sunday.

The San Francisco 49ers visit the St. Louis Rams this weekend in what will be the 119th meeting between the two teams. The series dates back to 1950. San Francisco holds a 60-56-2 advantage over St. Louis. 

Earlier this season, the 49ers defeated the Rams 35-16 at Candlestick Park. In that game, QB Shaun Hill was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week after completing 15-of-20 passes for 213 yards with two touchdown passes and one rushing score. His 142.3 passer rating marked a career-high.  He also became the first 49ers starting quarterback to post a perfect passer rating in the first half, besting Steve Young’s 156.5 rating vs. New Orleans (9-14-97). RB Frank Gore had 106 yards on 18 carries and two rushing touchdowns. San Francisco had a 35-3 lead after the first half of play. 

The 49ers enter this week’s contest after a 14-9 road defeat against the Miami Dolphins. The 49ers put together four drives of ten or more plays and controlled the ball for 38:14, but were held to three field goals. 

RB Frank Gore needs just 22 more rushing yards on the season to become the fi rst 49ers player to rush for 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons, while WR Isaac Bruce needs 60 receiving yards to surpass Tim Brown (14,934) and move into second place on the NFL’s all-time receiving yards list. He also needs six more catches to become the fifth player in NFL history with 1,000 career receptions.

After the jump, we've got a recap of the last time these two met, along with some facts and stats about the teams...

At Candlestick Park, San Francisco, CA, November 16, 2008

Mike Singletary picked up his first win as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers as the team ended a six-game losing streak with a 35-16 victory over NFC-West rival St. Louis. The 49ers used a 28-point second quarter to jump to a 35-3 halftime lead. QB Shaun Hill threw two touchdown passes, ran for another score and RB Frank Gore rushed for another two to give the 49ers the lead. Hill had a perfect passer rating of 158.3 in the first half and helped the 49ers hold the lead in the second half to secure the win.

Hill completed 12-of-14 passes for 192 yards in the first half and finished the game 15-of-20 for 213 yards. Gore registered his 15th career 100-yard rushing game with 106 yards on 18 carries for a 5.9-yard average. The 49ers took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, and after a St. Louis field goal early in the second quarter, the 49ers answered with a 69-yard drive that ended in a two-yard touchdown pass from Hill to TE Vernon Davis for a 14-3 lead. Hill positioned the 49ers for the score with a completion to WR Bryant Johnson that resulted in a 42-yard gain to the St. Louis seven-yard line.

The Rams next three drives ended in turnovers, which led to 21 unanswered points by San Francisco. First, Rams QB Marc Bulger lost the exchange from center and the 49ers recovered at the St. Louis 16-yard line to set up Gore’s second touchdown on a one-yard run for a 21-3 lead. Then on the following series, Bulger was intercepted by CB Walt Harris to give the 49ers a first down at their own 40-yard line. A 31-yard pass-play from Hill to RB DeShaun Foster gave the 49ers a first down at the one-yard line where Hill scored on a one-yard run up the middle for a 28-3 advantage.

On the next St. Louis series, CB Nate Clements intercepted a Bulger pass that gave San Francisco a first down at their own 44-yard line with 1:49 to go in the first half. Hill executed a two-minute drill and took the 49ers to the two-yard line where he connected with Johnson on a two-yard touchdown pass for a 35-3 lead. A 36-yard pass from Hill to RB Michael Robinson was the highlight of that drive.  The Rams added two field goals in the third quarter and a touchdown in the fourth quarter for a 35-16 final.

2008 Statistics

49ers (rank) Rams (rank)
21.1 (22nd) Points Per Game 13.5 (31st)
310.4 (22nd) Total Offense Per Game 274.6 (27th)
99.6 (25th) Rushing Yards Per Game 94.1 (28th)
210.8 (14th) Net Passing Yards Per Game 180.5 (27th)
30:02 (19th) Possession Average 28:29 (24th)
24.4 (22nd) Opp. Points Per Game 29.8 (31st)
328.9 (18th) Opp. Total Offense Per Game 375.7 (29th)
103.9 (13th) Opp. Rushing YPG 152.1 (29th)
225.0 (25th) Opp. Net Passing YPG 223.6 (24th)
-14 (32nd) Turnover Differential -11 (30th)