The San Francisco 49ers haven’t had the best start to the year. Unfortunately for them, they are facing the prospect of an even worse start.
San Francisco, currently 1-2, has to go to St. Louis to face the Rams on Thursday Night Football. Both teams are 1-2 and struggling, and one will drop to 1-3.
The 49ers have been outscored 84-44 this season, even with Colin Kaepernick, Frank Gore and a plethora of weapons on both sides of the ball. Even without Aldon Smith, who is in rehab, and Patrick Willis, who is questionable, the 49ers have weapons on defense.
Still, Kaepernick has struggled, throwing four interceptions and giving away two fumbles in his last two games. He will face another struggling quarterback and offense in Sam Bradford.
The Rams lost 31-7 last week, and they were getting blown out in Week 2 before rallying back to lose by just seven. They are finally back home, and they are hungry to avoid a 1-3 start.
With Robert Quinn and a solid defense, it’s certainly possible. Indianapolis, not known for its pass rush, piled up four sacks last week against the 49ers, so the Rams could have a fun day. Quinn will go up against star left tackle Joe Staley in a critical matchup.
Last year, the Rams tied and beat the 49ers. Despite playing a sloppy game, they beat the 49ers 13-10 at home, stifling Kaepernick and San Francisco’s offense. St. Louis has been able to contain Kaepernick, and it could do so again with Kaepernick struggling.
But if Kaepernick struggles, the 49ers can rely on Gore. Gore ran the ball well against Indianapolis, but he didn’t get many carries. Look for him to have a solid game against a defense that allowed 175 rushing yards to Dallas’ DeMarco Murray last week, and look for him to carry the offense.
Expect a good game with two motivated teams trying to win on a short week. The 49ers might miss their two best defensive players, and their offense could falter against a decent Rams defense. I think Gore will have a good game, but I think the Rams will do enough on offense to win 24-20.