Just recovering from a hearty T-Giving Holiday, what better way to celebrate than watching the Rams come out and try to salvage their season against a resurgent San Fran team.
The press seems to be solidly behind the Niners winning this game, on the back of the surprising Frank Gore. All over the paper and ESPN's pregame show, it's Frank Gore this and Frank Gore that. The Rams defense, allowing a historically bad 153 yards per game rushing (the contending Colts allow 155) just need to stack the box against the Niners today.
Stacking the box can accomplish two things, stopping, or at least curtailing, Gore and the ground game and, with the running game out of play, it can take away the Niners' successful option plays and screen passes...to an extent. If they can force Smith and Co. to look downfield, the Rams' slightly better secondary becomes more of a factor.
Of course this is all predicated on the notion that the Rams offense can score, as they have done in the past...this season even. The offensive line is in shambles, with replacement parts all over and the remaining starting cogs shifted around the line, with Alex Barron playing left tackle today. Even with the line in disarray, Linehan's going to have to use the running game far more than he did last week. If the Niners stack the box like the Panthers did last week, Bulger will have to force them out of it with some (quick, given the weakened state of the line) passes on the other side of the box. It seems like Linehan's thinking that way too, with Barron, the best lineman left outside of Incognito, moving to the all important left tackle slot.
It's almost game time, so I'll let you go get your chips and salsa in order.
The Rams really need to bring the Niners back to earth, and let Mike Nolan start thinking about the Men's Warehouse endorsement contracts this spring.