Fresh off a bye week and looking to stay undefeated in the NFC West, the San Francisco 49ers host the St. Louis Rams Sunday afternoon at Candlestick Park.
Quarterback Alex Smith is coming off maybe his best performance as a pro, and the 49ers also boast the league’s best defense and running game.
Smith went 18-for-19 for 232 yards and three touchdowns in San Francisco’s recent 24-3 win over the Arizona Cardinals in Week 8. He hit receiver Michael Crabtree for two of those touchdowns, and found Randy Moss for a 47-yard score.
Much has been made of how little the 49ers are using Moss, and are instead employing him as a decoy. Moss has 13 receptions for 235 yards and two scores this season, making only four catches in the last three games.
Running back Frank Gore gained just 66 yards against Arizona, but leads San Francisco’s No. 1 rush, which puts up 168.6 yards per game on the ground.
Then there’s the Rams, who faltered after a 3-2 start and are now losers of three straight.
Also coming off a bye, St. Louis may have had a chance to regroup and retool after their 45-7 blowout loss to the New England Patriots in London, England. The Rams were lauded for their pass defense early in the season, but surrendered 304 yards and four touchdowns to New England’s Tom Brady.
Sam Bradford and the Rams offense failed to answer, going 3-for-10 on third down and Bradford and back-up Kelly Clemens each throwing an interception.
The game was promising at first with Bradford throwing a 50-yard touchdown to receiver Chris Givens for a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, but Brady responded with four straight scoring drives and St. Louis never recovered.
The Rams offense may pick up with last year’s top receiver Danny Amendola expected to return Sunday. Amendola has been dealing with a shoulder injury, but will reportedly wear a special brace for protection.
The game begins at 4:25 p.m. EDT and will be shown by FOX, or watch a live stream online by purchasing NFL Sunday Ticket Max.
Betting Odds: San Francisco is favored by 13 points
Over/Under: 38.5 points
Prediction: Smith and 49ers are one of the hottest teams in the league and will be well rested. The defense should lead the way for another San Francisco victory.
Predicted Score: San Francisco 27, St. Louis 10