Three weeks ago, Alex Smith took two vicious hits against the St. Louis Rams in the first half that forced him out of the game with a concussion and gave backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick a chance to shine.
Three weeks later, Kaepernick is 2-0 as a starter in the NFL and was named the 49ers’ starting quarterback earlier this week by head coach Jim Harbaugh.
In that game against the Rams, Kaepernick brought the Niners back from a 17-7 deficit in the second half, leading two touchdown drives in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, the game ended in a tie, which (God forbid) does not happen this afternoon in St. Louis.
The Rams come in with a record of 4-6, having defeated the Arizona Cardinals 31-17 last week, while the Niners are 8-2-1 following their impressive win in New Orleans where Kaepernick impressed enough to earn the call to start again this week.
Rams’ head coach Jeff Fischer sure knows what the second-year quarterback out of Nevada brings to the Niners:
“The subtle differences over the last couple games are that the ball is going downfield with accuracy,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher told St. Louis media. “You take their running game — which, we all know how talented and productive their running game is — then you add the vertical passing game to it, it makes a huge challenge on your defense.”
The key for the Niners today will be to get off to a good start. In week 11, St. Louis came storming out of the gate and grabbed a 14-0 lead before San Francisco could even blink. They will also have to contain Steven Jackson, who ran for 101 yards and a touchdown in that game.
Injury Report (courtesy of the Sacramento Bee)
• Out: TE-DT Demarcus Dobbs (arrest)
• Questionable: S Darcel McBath (concussion)
• Probable: TE Delanie Walker (hip, ribs), K David Akers (pelvis), LB Aldon Smith (shoulder), CB Tarell Brown (knee), T Anthony Davis (finger), S Dashon Goldson (ribs, calf), LB Tavares Gooden (elbow), RB Frank Gore (wrist, ribs), WR Mario Manningham (shoulder), S Donte Whitner (knee), LB Patrick Willis (shoulder)
• Out: LB Mario Haggan (elbow)
• Doubtful: WR Danny Amendola (foot)
• Questionable: DE Robert Quinn (concussion), C Scott Wells (knee), T Barry Richardson (knee)
• Probable: RB Steven Jackson (foot)