Sports Illustrated picks the Niners to beat the Rams this weekend, 22-16. Of course, it is Peter King, so take it for what it's worth.
That does of course make one wonder about Frank Gore. The Niners are averaging 4.9 yards per rushing play, a pretty good number. With the Rams' rushing defense on pace to set record lows, logic says that Frank Gore could have a pretty big day. Norv Turner's going to run the football.
When the Niners handed the Rams their first loss of the season back in week 2, in San Fran, Gore ran for 127 yards and a TD. Of course, at that point in time, it was the Rams' offense that could get off the ground, failing to score once they got in the red zone. Uh, hopefully things haven't come full circle.
Normally, I'd say this game would be a shoot out, with two weak defenses scoring over and over again, and the game coming down to the last possession, but with the offensive line in a reather weakened state, you kind of wonder about the shoot out possibilities.
The Niners have a lower-tier pass defense, having 22 sacks on the season and allowing an average of 222 yards per game. Switching Alex Barron to left tackle and moving spare part Goldberg to the right side should help. Of course, you can expect the Niners to attempt the box quite a bit, given Carolina's success with it.
Linehan's taking LOTS of heat for his play calling against the Panthers, so I'd expect to see some changes in the way he runs the game. San Fran's nowhere near as good as Carolina, but shouldn't be taken for granted.
We'll have more breakdown and analysis as the week goes on. In the meantime, it's off to grandma's house. Have a good Turkey Day.