The San Francisco 49ers and the St. Louis Rams play each other twice yearly as members of the West Division of the National Football Conference (NFC). Both teams are desperately looking for a win this Sunday for different reasons.
The home team Rams are an improving football team that has won three out of six games in this still-young season. They find themselves in second place, just one game behind the Arizona Cardinals, a team with a Won-Loss record of 4-2. A win for the Rams this weekend against the 49ers, a team that has been playing poorly, could elevate the home team into a first place tie with the Cardinals if that team loses a road contest against the Cleveland Browns, a real possibility.
The situation facing the visiting team from “the city by the bay” is different. The San Francisco 49ers was a playoff contender and a serious threat to get to the Super Bowl as recently as two years ago. The loss of key players to free agency has since “changed the face” of this squad and made it decidedly weaker.
In fact, the 49ers find themselves in last place in the West Division of the National Football Conference with a disappointing Won-Loss record of 2-5. Importantly, the team’s young quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, has regressed badly since being awarded with a lucrative, long term contract.
His poor play has led to a spotty, inconsistent offense which, when combined with this squad’s mediocre defense, has the 49ers playing like a weak second division team.
But divisional contests always bring out the best in all teams in the NFL. As a result, fans can expect a hard-hitting contest with lots of action and, perhaps, lots of scoring, as well. While it is true that the San Francisco 49ers may already be looking ahead to an early winter vacation, the home team Rams have a lot on the line.
In truth, St. Louis is poised and in position to overtake the first place Cardinals. It won’t be easy to do because Arizona has a very strong team, particularly on defense. But anything worth having generally requires lots of effort and hard work. The St. Louis Rams can certainly be expected to bring their “A” game to this weekend’s intra-divisional contest.
For its part, San Francisco will almost certainly “play all out,” as well. After all, every team in the National Football League wants to beat a divisional foe. In this case, the 49ers probably have even more motivation than they might have in other divisional games.
That’s because a win for San Francisco will do great damage to the playoff hopes for the St. Louis Rams. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick has much to prove and may need to start producing this weekend if he wants to keep his starting job.
He and his teammates will be playing hard to defeat the St. Louis Rams. For the visiting team, this contest is almost “like a playoff game.”
Courtesy of USA Today