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

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The San Francisco 49ers travel to St. Louis this Sunday for a divisional showdown at 10am pacific, 1 pm eastern. Although the 49ers have a hideous record in 1pm eastern games, that statistic does not include their games with the St. Louis Rams. The 49ers have won five straight games against the Rams and have won three straight at the Edward Jones Dome. It's not quite enough to roll out that mid-90s video of "same ol' sorry Rams," but it's certainly bound to inspire at least a little bit of confidence. Just a little even?

This series is fairly historic as the two teams have played each other 122 times over the course of the franchises. What's most amazing is that the 49ers win over the Rams in week 10 evened the series at 60-60-2. Furthermore, on the road at St. Louis/Los Angeles the 49ers are 30-29-1. Those statistics would indicate a very close series, but as we all know this rivalry has had its one-sided stretches. In the '90s the 49ers actually won 17 straight against the Rams and were 30-7 against them from 1981 to 1998. Of course, in the 1970s the Rams won ten straight at the start of the decade and from 1967 to 1980 the Rams were 23-3-1 against the 49ers. So really this series has bounced back and forth. In the late 90s the Rams won six straight and ten of twelve, while right now the 49ers ride a five game winning streak and nine of eleven.

The nature of this matchup is actually prevalent in the announcing crew assigned by FOX. This Sunday's game will be covered by Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, and Tony Siragusa. Whatever you think of what they bring to the table as announcers, this is FOX's number two crew. This is one of the biggest games of the week no matter what people think of the NFC West. Of course that won't stop the announcers from ragging on the division, as many of us now do. What's a solid over/under on the number of jokes we hear about the NFC West? Would five be too low a bar? Given the fact that Siragusa is involved he might be good for five one-liners by himself.

Once again I've attached a prediction poll. Head after the jump for random tidbits about this matchup.

San Francisco looks to stay alive in the NFC West division title race as the team travels to St. Louis to take on the Rams in the final road game of the 2010 regular season. The 49ers tied the overall series vs. St. Louis earlier this season (60-60-2) after winning in overtime at home, 23-20.

The 49ers have won five consecutive meetings vs. the Rams, sweeping the regular season series the past two years. San Francisco has also won nine of the last 11 contests, dating back to the 2005 season. The Niners own the series record on the road vs. St. Louis, 30-29-1, winning the past three in a row.

Last week, the Niners fell to the San Diego Chargers on Thursday Night Football, 34-7. It marked only the first defeat for the 49ers when playing on Thursday, since 1982 (5-1). WR Josh Morgan notched his first career 100-yard receiving game, registering seven receptions for a career-high 106 yards. He also tied his career high with seven receptions [7 recepts. at Phi. (12/20/09)].

49ers-Seahawks Connections
- 49ers wide receivers coach Jerry Sullivan and Rams running backs coach Sylvester Croom coached together while with the Detroit Lions from 1997-2000. The two also coached together from 1992-96 while with the San Diego Chargers.

- Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo, offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur and 49ers head strength and conditioning coach Duane Carlisle, all coached together while with the Philadelphia Eagles from 2001-03.

- Rams general manager Billy Devaney served as a pro personnel assistant with the 49ers from 2001-03.

- Rams quality control/offense Andy Sugarman served on the 49ers coaching staff from 1998-2002.

- Rams director of player personnel Mike Williams spent nine seasons (2000-2008) with the 49ers pro personnel department.

49ERS MISSOURI CONNECTIONS: 49ers DT Justin Smith is a native of Holts Summit, MO and attended the
University of Missouri.

FORMER 49ERS: Rams S Michael Lewis played in a total of 50 games (50 starts) for the 49ers from 2007-10 ... Rams TE Billy Bajema was a 7th round (249th overall) draft pick by the 49ers in 2005. He played in a total of 61 games (25 starts) for SF from 2005-08 ... Rams LB Larry Grant was was a 7th round (214th overall) draft pick by
the 49ers in 2008.

VANDALIZED – 49ers G Mike Iupati and Rams LB David Vobora were teammates at the University of Idaho during the 2006 season.

CAVALIERS CALLING - 49ers LB Ahmad Brooks played at Virginia with DE Chris Long.

"THE" BUCKEYE BROTHERS - 49ers WR Ted Ginn and QB Troy Smith were teammates of Rams LBs Larry Grant and James Laurinaitis. Laurinaitis and Grant were also teammates of 49ers LB Thaddeus Gibson.

LION LINKS – 49ers LB NaVorro Bowman and Rams CB Justin King patrolled the Penn State defense together during the 2006 season.

"SOONER THAN LATER" – 49ers S Reggie Smith and Rams LDE C.J. Ah You and QB Sam Bradford were all teammates at the University of Oklahoma.

Series Highlights
Matchups: 122
Series Record: Series Tied 60-60-2
49ers Road Record vs. Rams: 49ers Lead Series 30-29-1
First Meeting: 10/1/50, Rams win 35-14 at Los Angeles
Last Meeting: 11/14/10, 49ers win 23-20 OT at San Francisco
Current Streak: Won 5
Longest 49ers Win Streak: 17 (12/17/90-12/27/98)
Longest Rams Win Streak: 10 (11/29/70-9/28/75)
Most 49ers Points: 48 (12/27/87), 48-0 at San Francisco
Most Rams Points: 56 (11/9/58), 56-7 at Los Angeles
49ers Shutouts: 7 times; Last 35-0 at San Francisco (19/4/09)
Rams Shutouts
: None

At San Francisco, CA, November 14, 2010

The San Francisco 49ers week 10 matchup would be a battle between NFC West foes as they hosted the division leading St. Louis Rams at Candlestick Park. All would come down to a overtime FG off the foot of K Joe Nedney, who connected on a 29-yd. game winning kick that gave the 49ers the 23-20 win.

With St. Louis winning the toss and electing to receive, QB Sam Bradford started things off, marching his team down the field. The drive ultimately would be halted, but not before a K Josh Brown 42-yd. FG put the Rams on the board 3-0 to start the game. 49ers QB Troy Smith proved to be a major part of the offensive onslaught as he completed 17 of 28 pass atts. for a career-high 356 yds and 1 TD through the air. Smith's 356 yds. were the most by a 49ers QB since QB Tim Rattay threw for 417 yds. on 38 of 57 pass atts. vs. Arz. (10/10/04)

Smith started the carousel of offensive production with a 32-yd. pass to TE Vernon Davis. On the very next offensive drive, Smith hooked up with WR Josh Morgan for a 65-yd. pass deep down the right side that brought him to the 1-yd. line, setting up a 1-yd. TD run by RB Frank Gore and giving the 49ers a 7-3 lead. The 49ers offense would continue to pour on the yards as they successfully moved the ball down field and allowed Nedney to connect on a 26-yd. FG to put the home team up 10-3 with 12:04 left to go in the half. The Rams eventually would find their way into the end zone as QB Sam Bradford connected with WR Danny Amendola for a 5-yd. TD pass to tie the game at 10 a piece heading into halftime

The 49ers found themselves down heading into the 4th qtr. after Rams RB Steven Jackson scampered for a 13-yd. TD to bring the score to 10-17. With the home team down 17-13 late in the 4th qtr. the 49ers would once again turn to their quarterback. With 2:30 remaining on the clock, the 49ers faced a 3rd and 32 situation at the SF 47-yd. line. Smith then connected on back-to-back passes to Gore of 14 and 23 yds. to move the chains, before firing a 16-yd. TD strike to WR Michael Crabtree to give the 49ers the lead. The Rams marched right back down the field and scored off of a 33-yd. FG by Brown, forcing overtime. After St. Louis won the toss, the 49ers defense made a crucial 3 and out stop, which included a 3rd down sack by DT Justin Smith that allowed the 49ers to get the ball back and set up the game winning FG.

2010 Statistics

49ERS (rank) RAMS (rank)
5-9 (3rd NFCW) Record 6-8 (1st NFCW)
17.9 (29th) Points per game 18.4 (26th)
308.6 (26th) Total Offense 309.1 (25th)
105.1 (19th) Rushing Offense 105.1 (t-19th)
203.4 (22nd) Passing Offense 204.0 (21st)
28:51 (23rd) Possession Avg 31:05 (10th)
22.4 (t-17th) Points allowed/gm 21.1 (15th)
330.7 (14th) Total Defense 337.4 (17th)
100.6 (7th) Rushing Defense 113.1 (16th)
230.1 (50th) Passing Defense 224.3 (18th)
29 (t-15th) Sacks 39 (t-6th)
46.3 (t-5th) Punting Avg (Gross) 45.9 (7th)
-2 (t-16th) Turnover Differential +4 (10th)