Following up with the 2010 opponent breakdown, let’s continue on with the next opponent on the schedule.
The 49ers will now face division rival St. Louis.
2009 Record: 1-15 (4th NFC West )
Last meeting: 1/3/10 @ St. Louis (San Francisco wins 28-6)
2010 schedule: Week 10 @ San Francisco, Week 16 @ St. Louis
Top 3 best players: RB Steven Jackson, S OJ Atogwe, LB James Laurinaitis
Franchise player: None
Notable draft picks: QB Sam Bradford, OT Roger Saffold, CB Jerome Murphy, WR Mardy Gilyard
Notable new acquisitions: LB Na’il Diggs, QB AJ Feeley, C Hank Fraley, DT Chris Hovan, DT Fred Robbins
Notable losses: QB Marc Bulger, OT Alex Barron, QB Kyle Boller, DT Adam Carriker, TE Randy McMichael
The Rams have struggled mightily the past three seasons and now they hope to find some sort of consistency to their game. These two games against the Rams should be wins for the 49ers.
On offense, gone is Marc Bulger and the hope of Sam Bradford as the new leader of the offense. With the first overall pick, the Rams took Bradford with the vision of making him the franchise quarterback. Veteran AJ Feeley was also signed and should take over as the starting quarterback to begin the year. But if Bradford shines in the preseason or Feeley struggles, expect a change in quarterback.
The running game has always been exceptional for the Rams since Steven Jackson’s arrival in 2004. However, the past few seasons have been tough on Jackson as he became one of the team’s very few offensive threats. Jackson hopes to continue his dominance in the running game as the Rams try to fine-tune their passing attack.
Donnie Avery leads a very young wide receiving group as the team’s best deep threat. Keenen Burton also will try to help the development of Danny Amendola and rookie Mardy Gilyard into the offense. Tight end Daniel Fells will also be a focal point for the offense (especially for Bradford) as the team continues to build consistency through the passing game.
Defensively, the Rams breathed a huge sigh of relief when they were able to retain safety OJ Atogwe. With one of the best safeties in the secondary, the Rams hope that the secondary can step up and provide a road block for the 49ers passing attack.
The focus for the 49ers may also be at the front seven of the Rams. Last year, the Rams ranked as the sixth worst rushing defense in the league. The 49ers know that if they want to continue their running attack throughout the season, they have to take advantage of the Rams.
Like last year, the 49ers were able to capitalize on mistakes by the Rams and turn them into points. Doing so with the Rams should lead to two easy wins for the 49ers.
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