The key to the St. Louis Rams vs. San Francisco 49ers game today is Jim Harbaugh. The 49ers are 9-2 and will win the NFC West and the biggest reason is Jim Harbaugh. The 49ers signed Jim Harbaugh to take over this year for Mike Singletary who was released after going 18-22 as the 49ers tough nosed inexperienced head coach.
Jim knows football. Harbaugh played 15 seasons in the NFL and was a college head coach for seven years at San Diego and Stanford where he had a combined record of 58-27. Everyone waited for the 49ers to take on the persona of Mike Singletary but instead they have taken to Jim's football philosophy much quicker.
Jim Harbaugh is about hard nosed, smart NFL football. For those that love stats the 49ers have allowed more yards than they have gained and have even been sacked more than they collected so how are the 49ers so successful and 9-2? The 49ers are efficient and know how to win and they learned that from Jim Harbaugh. The 49ers control the clock, are +16 in turnover differential and pressure the other team physically and mentally just like Jim would do it.
This is yet another terrible match up for the Rams. The 49ers are first overall in scoring and rushing defense while the Rams are 31st in scoring and 21st in rushing. The 49ers will pound at the Rams 32nd ranked rushing defense with Al Gore and Kendall Hunter. The Rams continually make stars of backup running backs like Kendall Hunter and today will be no exception. With DT Justin Bannan most likely out today the 49ers will attack the interior of the Rams because they know they can and under the leadership of Harbaugh will make sure you no about it.
With Sam Bradford still suffering from an ankle injury Jay Feeley will most likely start for the Rams today. The 49ers will attack Feeley from the outside with Justin Smith and Aldon Smith off the edge. In the middle of the field NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis will be head hunting Rams receivers and running backs. The Rams who never seem to have much of a plan will try to attack with Steven Jackson who will most likely not find much room behind the Rams patchwork offensive line. Through the air the Rams will continually go to Brandon Lloyd who will probably be covered by Carlos Rogers who leads the 49ers with 5 interceptions.
It all goes back to efficiency. The 49ers are 26th in yardage but 9th in points. The 49ers will impose their will on the Rams all afternoon. Hopefully Rams fans will finally see the difference coaching can make and why we will need to clean house after the 2011 season.
Prediction San Francisco 49ers 24 - St. Louis Rams 3