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Week 13 Analysis: 49ers @ Rams

December 2nd 2012 08:07
49ers @ Rams 8 (1 unit):
A lot has changed in San Francisco since these two teams met. Colin Kaepernick is now the starter, after beating the likes of the Chicago Bears and the New Orleans Saints. He brings a dynamic element to this offense and is able to stretch defenses better than Alex Smith, which is why he is getting the nod at quarterback. The 49ers defense has also picked it up a level. It appears Kaepernick's play has energized them and they come in at top form. The only question is, will Kaepernick regress or will his confidence continue to grow? If he can continue to improve, behind this defense, a Super Bowl title is in this team's sights. On the other side, the Rams have been very inconsistent this season. One week they play like a playoff team, then they lose to the Jets at home by 14. When they fall behind in down and distance, Sam Bradford struggles. But when Stephen Jackson gets rolling, then the play action game opens up and they are able to make plays down the field. The question for this team is, what team will show up on a weekly basis? This is a young unit that isn't use to the intensity and focus thats required to win in this league on a weekly basis.

This is a difficult game to bet which is why I only have 1 unit on the Rams. The Rams are very inconsistent, but are 4-1 ATS against the 49ers in their last five matchups. Also, the 49ers are playing extremely well but you never know how a young quarterback, with only two starts under his belt, will play in a division road game. The Rams will have difficulty running against arguably the best defense in football. Kaepernick has played well but the defense did have two touchdowns versus the Saints last week.

Situation: I give the edge to the Rams. The 49ers have a comfortable lead in the NFC West and come in off two huge victories. They may struggle getting up for 4-6-1 Rams team. Jeff Fisher will have his team prepared and the Rams will be hungry to try and knock off a division rival. Note (these 2 teams tied in round 1 in the Bay Area).

Prediction: 49ers 19 Rams 13 (Rams have enjoyed some success vs. the 49ers the past few seasons and I expect them to keep this one close. 49ers sleep walk early but get a come from behind victory late).

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