TV Schedule: Thursday, Sept. 26, 8:25 p.m. ET, NFL Network
Stadium: Edward Jones Dome
Weather: Low 63, High 83
Line: San Francisco (-3)
The San Francisco 49ers have to still be considered one of the best teams in the NFL. After a rough early-season schedule in which they have turned up just one win through the first three weeks, Colin Kaepernick and company have a lot of work to do in order to get back to the Super Bowl in 2013. Kaepernick has been highly criticized with his poor play early in the season. He has 689 yards passing with three touchdowns with another 129 yards rushing. Many fans have been calling him out — as he uses the criticism as fuel. Anquan Boldin remains Kaepernick’s favorite target, catching 19 passes for 282 yards and a touchdown while Vernon Davis leads all receivers/tight ends with two scores. Frank Gore has seen his carries cut a bit and has only rushed for 142 yards and a touchdown on 41 carries.
On the other side of the field, the St. Louis Rams could be that team to give the 49ers their third loss of the season. The Rams are coming off a tough loss on the road against the Dallas Cowboys. Sam Bradford has improved heading into the 2013 season and it has shown with his solid numbers. He has passed for 891 yards and six touchdowns while throwing a ridiculous amount of passed with 141. Tight end Jared Cook leads the team in yards, with 195, and has 13 catches with two touchdowns to go along with it. The run game is not the same as it once was when Steven Jackson was in the backfield as they rank 29th with just 57 rush yards per game.
Defensively, the Rams have been one of the worst teams in the league on paper. They have allowed 28.7 points and 393 total yards per game — good for 27th and 26th in the league, respectively. On the other side of things, the 49ers had one of the best defenses in the NFL last season. They haven’t been so lucky this year, allowing the seventh-most points and third-most rushing yards in football. It doesn’t help that Aldon Smith — the monster pass-rusher — will be out for the foreseeable future as he’s attending rehab.
PREDICTION: 49ers 31, Rams 17