Colin Kaepernick will make his third straight start as the San Francisco 49ers square off against the St. Louis Rams Sunday at Edward Jones Dome.
Now-former starter Alex Smith went down with a concussion three weeks ago, and appears to have lost job permanently.
San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh gave conflicting answers earlier this week as to who the quarterback of the future is for the 49ers, but it seems it doesn’t matter who is under center for the first-place NFC West club.
Helped by two uncharacteristic Drew Brees interceptions, the 49ers downed the New Orleans Saints 31-21 last week. Kaepernick went 16-for-25 for 231 yards with one passing and one rushing touchdown and tossed one interception, while running back Frank Gore chipped in 83 yards on 19 carries, and one receiving touchdown.
The 49ers also overcame 10 penalties for a loss of 68 yards and two turnovers.
San Francisco’s new starter may have trouble against St. Louis’s top cornerbacks, Cortland Finnegan and Janoris Jenkins.
Jenkins returned two interceptions for touchdowns last week in the Rams 31-17 rout of the Arizona Cardinals. As a team, St. Louis picked off Arizona’s Ryan Lindley four times, and running back Steven Jackson had a season-high 139 yards rushing.
Quarterback Sam Bradford went 8-for-17 for 205 yards with two touchdowns and one pick, connecting with receiver Chris Givens five times for 115 yards and a score for the Rams first road win of the season.
These two teams met three weeks ago, and recorded the first tie in the NFL since 2008. In that game, Kapernick filled in for Smith for the first time, and Jackson had his first 100-yard rushing game of the season.
St. Louis receiver Danny Amendola also had 11 receptions for 102 yards in that game, but may not get to repeat that performance Sunday. He is listed as doubtful due to a foot injury.
The game begins at 1 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 7.5 points
Over/Under: 41 points
Prediction: Kaepernick will struggle against the Rams secondary, while Bradford will have an equally difficult time against the 49ers stout defense. This game will be decided by the running backs, with St. Louis prevailing with a strong second half.
Predicted Score: St. Louis 20 , San Francisco 17